Do you take a measurable amount of pride in your gift-wrapping abilities? Or are you completely satisfied just covering the surface area of the gift?
If you identify with the latter, you’re in luck. A new study says that sloppily wrapping your gifts will make people love them more.
Type-A gift wrappers, don’t freak out: Your flawlessly assembled presents are still beautiful. But it’s time for the unmethodical wrappers of the world to take to the spotlight.
The benefits of lackadaisical gift-wrapping
A recent study published in The Journal of Consumer Psychology revealed that the endearingly sloppy type of gift-wrapping gets more appreciation from the recipient. It all comes down to the psychology of expectations.
The researchers from the University of Nevada used the “expectation disconfirmation theory” to solidify their hypothesis that perfectly wrapped gifts lead to higher expectations on what’s inside. On the other hand, more hastily wrapped gifts produce lower expectations from the recipient — so you can imagine how pleased someone when a lackluster wrapping job wasn’t indicative of gift quality.
Basically, if your expectations are super high due to a near-professional wrapping job, it’s harder for the gift to meet your standards. On the other hand, messy wrap jobs typically exceed expectations when they’re ripped open. The researchers found that this is especially true when gifts are given or received by friends or loved ones rather than an acquaintance.
Wrapping it up
Messy gift wrappers: you’re off the hook. You can thank this team of scientists for appraising your newspaper and twine ensembles that were crafted dangerously close to your gift exchange.
And neat, meticulous wrapping enthusiasts? Keep doing what you’re doing. We all love looking at your aesthetically pleasing curly ribbons and geometric corners. If anything, just send your friends and family this article first so they can adjust their expectations.