However, this particular method of low-expectation inducing gift-wrapping only works on family and friends – so don’t try it for the office Secret Santa. When giving gifts to acquaintances, it’s always better to err on the side of caution, as a badly wrapped gift in this situation may imply that you don’t particularly care for the person you are gifting to.
“When we wrap a gift neatly for a friend, we may anticipate that they will be more satisfied with what is inside,” Jessica Rixom, assistant professor of marketing at the University’s College of Business, said. “Our research found when gifts are wrapped neatly, and given to a friend, it raises the expectations of the gift inside, resulting in our friends liking the gift less. However, with sloppy-wrapping, our friends set their expectations lower and will actually like the gift more.”
So there you have it, the key to impressing your friends with fab gifts this year is poor wrapping.