People with higher emotional understanding can better predict their own emotions, as well as those of the receiver - Rajani Pillai. Other factors like social expectations can also influence when and why we spend more on gifts, he adds. Yet while we often find happiness in giving presents, our personalities — specifically our emotional intelligence — may play a role in dictating the extent to which we splurge. Have you ever splashed out on a present for someone you love, spending far more than you would on yourself? Research from shows that when receivers discover a gift was purchased at a discount, they appreciate it less. And recipients do notice when the giver tries to get a deal. One interesting finding was that married couples in the US — where the divorce rate is high — gave more gifts to each other than married couples in Japan, where the divorce rate is relatively low. Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada, also points to an evolutionary explanation for our gift-giving.
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