3 thoughts on “The Irrational Pleasure of Exchanging Gifts

  • December 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Ariely’s research and methodology is what’s irrational. (Including surveying by walking around with a clipboard; very unscientific). Gift giving rituals are an essential function for the maintenance of social cohesion and solidarity. While I agree gifts are not altruistic, Ariely’s solution to the ‘wasteful’ gift is cash, cheque, money-order/draft or, when those are not possible, gift card/certificate. Wait, aren’t those the gifts you like least? Aren’t you saying ‘don’t buy me a gift card, but check out this guy’ (who asserts that we should buy gift cards)? I think that’s exactly what you’re saying, lol.

    • December 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      No, Ariely doesn’t suggest that at all. He’s talking about the economists’ view. Take a look at the Wall Street Journal article.

  • December 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    My bad! I was getting Ariely and Waldfogel mixed up. Feel free to delete my first post. Merry irrationality! 🙂


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