Effect of Wrapping Neatness on Gift Attitudes [research study]

What exactly is the effect of wrapping neatness on gift attitudes? A new study gives everyone the chance to ponder anew this vexatious question. The study is:

Presentation Matters: The Effect of Wrapping Neatness on Gift Attitudes,” Jessica M. Rixom [pictured here], Erick M. Mas, and Brett A. Rixom, Journal of Consumer Psychology, epub 2019.  The authors, at the University of Nevada, and at Vanderbilt University, explain:

We propose that when recipients open a gift from a friend, they like it less when the giver has wrapped it neatly as opposed to sloppily and we draw on expectation disconfirmation theory to explain the effect…. However, when the gift‐giver is an acquaintance, there is ambiguity in the relationship status and wrapping neatness serves as a cue about the relationship rather than the gift itself….

We assess these effects across three studies and find that they hold for desirable, neutral, and undesirable gifts, as well as with both hypothetical and real gifts.

(Thanks to Scott Langill for bringing this to our attention.)