Iver Mysterud is a doctor in human behavioural ecology at UiO and the lead author behind the study that is published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology.
He believes that explanation for the first born giving more is that it is easier for them to open themselves to their parents and to their parents’ attitude than it is for younger siblings to do. This is reflected in gift buying.
"In a group of siblings there is competition for parents’ attention. While the oldest of the children will often be more conservative and more similar to their parents, so the next in line must choose another strategy to gain attention and resources. Therefore they are often more rebellious, says Mysterud.
“This supports my theory that birth order is important for the development of personality. It can be noted that among supporters of revolutionary thought throughout history are a large number of younger siblings," he continues.
Generous to your own genes
Mysterud and his colleagues swept up each and every needle under the Christmas tree to find out as much as possible about Norwegians’ gift-giving traditions.
They found, among other things, that people give most to their nearest relatives. In such cases it is not as important how much one receives in return.
This explains the theory of family relationships: The closer one is in the family (genetic relation) with another, the greater the payoff is in helping your own genetic material.
To receive gifts in return is therefore more important when is comes to gifts from non-relatives, such as from friends.
Girls give most
"Blood is generally thicker than water. Moreover, one can clearly see gender differences in the total number of gifts given. It’s not surprising that girls give the most Christmas presents, and that includes to friends,” says the behavioural biologist.
That women are more thorough in Christmas shopping than men doesn’t sound so revolutionary, but Mysterud also has a possible explanation for this.
“Before, it was the girls that would move from the home to begin a family, while the boys were more attached to the place in which they grew up. So saying, girls must learn from the bottom-up the new social ties. Gift giving has played an important role in winning favour in the new family,” he believes.
There have been many gift studies earlier, but none from an evolutionary prospective. Nor has sibling birth order been studied from this perspective, making this gift study unique.
Mysterud himself is the eldest son, but he has possibly a more relaxed attitude when it comes to Christmas presents: "Even though it was early January when we asked around in the reading room, it was a surprise how many details students remembered about the gifts they had received. They even remembered the prices of almost everything!” he chuckles.
Prof Tore Slagsvold | alfa
New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences