The Wall Street Journal:
The Beatles famously sang money can’t buy love. But can it buy happiness? Satisfaction? Appreciation? These questions surfaced in my mind the other day as I raced to finish—um, I mean start—my holiday shopping.
For many of you, the hunt for the perfect gift began early this year. A record-breaking 226 million shoppers tore out of the gate over Black Friday weekend, spending an estimated $52.4 billion collectively—another record—at stores and websites, all in the hopes of spreading a little joy to family members, friends and assorted acquaintances.
Unfortunately, our good intentions notwithstanding, research suggests that by and large we miss the mark. “Despite the fact that people spend a significant amount of time and money on gift-giving, their purchases often are less appreciated than they might hope,” conclude business school professors Francis Flynn of Stanford University and Francesca Gino of Harvard University in a study published earlier this year.
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