issues and experts

SFU researchers on gift giving this holiday season

December 17, 2018

With just days leading up to the holidays, millions will be headed to busy malls and online shopping sites for some last-minute gifts for friends and loved ones. These SFU researchers are available to provide commentary on gift giving this holiday season.

Christmas gifting from the closet: thoughtful or thoughtless?

Judy Zaichkowsky, business professor, has analyzed the pitfalls of buying and storing random clearance items until a handy gift is needed during the holiday season or for a birthday. Her research has found  that the gifting practice can be perceived as evidence of a lack of caring.

Link to study:

778.782.3733, (is available now till the 20th)

Not all Gifts are Good: The Potential Practical Costs of Motivated Gifts

Dylan Wiwad, psychology researcher, has found there are potential problems with giving ‘motivated’ gifts to friends. His research reveals that if you give your friend a gift expecting a favour in return, you are 16 per cent less likely to convince your friend to do you the favor, than if you didn’t give them a gift at all.  In addition, this transactional gesture might alienate your friend and damage your relationship.

Link to study:


Does gift giving bring happiness to at-risk youth and adult ex-offenders?

Kate Hanniball, psychology researcher, has analyzed the impact giving has on the happiness of at-risk youth and adult ex-offenders who exhibit antisocial personality traits. This study reveals that these individuals exhibited positive emotional benefits from recalled and immediate acts of generosity, despite antisocial personality features and extensive criminal histories.

604.754.1296, (email first to schedule an interview)

Link to study:

Justin Wong, University Communications, 778.782.3035,