The Joy of Giving Outlasts the Joy of Getting

The happiness we feel after a particular event or activity diminishes each time we experience that event, a phenomenon known as hedonic adaptation. However, giving to others may be the exception to that rule. A recent study at Northwestern University revealed that the joy of receiving gifts lessens over time, while the psychological benefits of giving do not. Repeated giving, even in the same way to the same people, continues to feel fresh and relatively pleasurable the more we do it. That’s because people focus on an outcome, such as the excitement the recipient expresses at receiving the gift, and want to sustain that happiness over time.