Behavioral economist Dan Ariely’s advice on picking holiday gifts:


Dan Ariely, author of the excellent Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, applies his research in behavioral economics to holiday gift giving and says this:

In summary, I think that the best gifts circumvent guilt in two key ways: by eliminating the guilt that accompanies extravagant purchases, and by reducing the guilt that comes from coupling payment with consumption. The best advice on gift-giving, therefore, is to get something that someone really wants but would feel guilty buying otherwise.

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