(EndPlay Staff Reports) - It sounds like a plot on "Seinfeld" – is it OK to regift something?
According to a new study, it is.
"Regifting isn't bad," Gabrielle Adams, from the London Business School, said in a news release . "In fact it is one way to ensure that gifts are passed along to those who will truly enjoy them. People shouldn't be afraid to pass along a gift they received to someone else."
The study involved researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Harvard Business School and the London Business School. They examined five studies to determine whether regifting really is considered a social faux pas, from the perspective of both the original giver and the receiver.
They found that, repeatedly, the participants who had received gifts and were told to consider regifting them feared the original giver would feel more offended than they actually did.
The study is to appear in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
In one study of 178 people, researchers measured reactions to different scenarios on a five-point "offensiveness" scale, which ranged from "very slightly or not at all" to extremely offended.
Those who contemplated regifting a watch or trashing it were asked to rate how offended the giver would be with either scenario. The same was asked of the givers.
For this study, researchers found that givers were less offended when they learned that the receiver had regifted the watch than when they learned the receiver threw the gift away.
In a strange twist, gift receivers believed those who gave the gift would be equally offended no matter what option they took – placing regifting on the same level as trashing a gift, the study found.
The bottom line is entitlement, researchers said. According to those who receive gifts, givers should have a say in what happens to their gifts. Meanwhile, givers think receivers are can do whatever they like with a gift
Just how common is regifting? A 2011 study by CouponCabin.com found that more than four in 10 American adults have re-gifted an item, WHEC.com reported.