Researchers have discovered the components of a perfect gift and they are all to do with actions rather than physical goods!
Gifts that involve the recipient in an action or event are talked about more than when a gift is just a possession; being able to talk about the gift helps give the recipient an extra bonus to the present which in turn makes it more memorable and pleasurable.
Cornell University’s Amit Kumar chaired a symposium titled ‘ON DOING AND HAVING’ and updated, by way of empirical data, the work Professor Thomas Gilovich’s previous research that showed that buying experiences brings people more happiness than material purchases.
The research has shown that gifts which involve the recipient in an experience (an Adrenaline challenge or a Romantic Holiday for example) bring more happiness than a purely material purchase (e.g. a commemorative gift or flat-screen television).
One potential explanation of this difference, recent research suggests, is that experiences can prompt storytelling more than mere possessions. The telling of stories has long been seen as a pleasurable experience and facilitate the re-living of the actual event in question; telling stories encourage embellishment, and they foster greater social connection all of which assist to enhance enjoyment of the original gift.
Researcher’s further studies demonstrated that people are more inclined to talk about their experiences than their material purchases and they derive more happiness from doing so. They also confirmed that taking away the ability to talk about experiences (but not the material goods) could diminish the enjoyment they bring.
In one test participants were told they may keep one gift, either the most significant purchase but without being able to talk about it or the second most important purchase and were allowed to talk about it. Those taking part that recalled experiences were more likely to choose a less significant purchase they could still talk about compared to those who just recalled buying physical gifts.
So what does all this mean? well one point that sprung to mind was that you can be more frugal with a gift that involves an experience as the enjoyment and happiness derived gives you more bang for your buck!
I must admit sitting thinking about gifts I have been given I can easy recount those that involved an experience and although can remember great physical gifts I received I struggle more to recall them. What do you think are gifts you participate in better, let us know?
We’ve just published a collection of, mostly inspirational, quotes we’ve pulled together on our twitter feed celebrating Love and Marriage mainly for St. Valentine’s day, we’ve reproduced them all together below:
- An anniversary; a celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance & tenacity. The order varies for any year. – Paul Sweeney http://thinkexist.com/quotes/paul_sweeney/
- True love stories never have endings. – Richard Bach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Bach
- The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret. – Henry Youngman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Youngman
- Where there is love there is no darkness. – Burundi Proverb
- Marriage is a three ring circus: engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering. – Cynic
- Married couples who love each other tell each other a thousand things without talking. – Chinese Proverb
- Two souls with but a single thought, Two hearts that beat as one. – Maria Lovall translation from Friedrich Halm
- There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.- Martin Luther
- Love one another and you will be happy. It is as simple and as difficult as that – Michael Leunig http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Leunig
- On our anniversary, we may not have wealth, but we do have each other and that is worth more than all the money in the world. http://www.wow4u.com/
- Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. Robert Heinlein
- Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. Franklin P. Jones
- The highest happiness on earth is marriage. – William Lyon Phelps
- You don’t marry someone you can live with. You marry the person who you cannot live without. – Anon.
- Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together. – Simone Signoret
- Two souls with but a single thought, Two hearts that beat as one. – Friedrich Halm translation by Maria Lovall
- Life’s greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved. – Victor Hugo
- Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu
- Our wedding was many years ago. The celebration continues to this day. – Gene Perret
It’s not where you go or what you do, it’s who you take along with you. – Anon.
- The secret to a good marriage is understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent and it must be equal. – F. Pittman
- Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along. – Jalal ad-Din Rumi
The goal of our life should not be to find joy in marriage, but to bring more love and truth into the world. – Leo Tolstoy
- No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century. – Mark Twain
- Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. – Mignon McLaughlin
- Marriage is such that the independence is equal,the dependence mutual, and the obligation reciprocal. – Louis K. Anspacher
- Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. – Aristotle
If you have any other inspirational quotes relating to marriage, anniversaries of Love we would love to share then here.