Cognitive Daily

Casual Fridays: Holiday edition

Yesterday’s report on gift preferences was the inspiration for this week’s study. Are some types of gifts simply inappropriate? If it seems clear that not much thought went into a particular gift, does that make it less “special”?

Or does the simple fact that a gift was given make up for any faux pas on the part of the gift-giver? And can we find any relationship between the type of person receiving a gift and what sort of gifts they find appropriate.

Click here to participate in our study and help us find out.

As usual, the study is brief, with just 5 questions, so it should only take a minute of your time. You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, December 19 to participate — or until we have 500 responses, whichever comes first (note: this is one day less than usual, due to our holiday travel plans). Then don’t forget to come back next Friday for our analysis of the results!

Do you have any comments on this week’s study? Any other opinions on gift-giving and receiving that the study failed to address? Just want to complain about the lousy gifts you got last year? Now’s your chance — let us know in the comments.


  1. #1 Theo Bromine
    December 15, 2006

    Like the email salutation/signoff survey, this one could be improved by categorizing the relationship between the giver and recipient – the appropriateness of pre- and post-gift behaviour depends heavily on that.

  2. #2 Peter
    December 15, 2006

    I think these surveys help a lot. In my opinion, the worst thing a gift-giver could do is to control whether the gift is used appropriately or not, like Did you read the book already? How did you like the ending? Where is this ugly painting I did for you? I thought it would look great on this empty spot on the wall… Oh, I think this might be the wrong kind of check boxes.

  3. #3 Katherine
    December 15, 2006

    I agree with Theo. If it’s a family member/someone you’re really close to, it’s inappropriate NOT to tell the giver what you want, either with a list or with a single item. If it’s someone you’re less close to, it’s really pushy to demand the type of gift you want.

  4. #4 Luis
    December 18, 2006

    Yes , It definitively depends on the person you are receiving/giving a gift. Once I gave money to my little brother for Christmas, it wasn´t that bad because he needed it for travelling.

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