Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tactical Christmas presents

02.11.2006
Norwegian behavioural biologists at the University of Oslo (UiO) have found that that eldest siblings use more money on each gift than their younger siblings. The research also noted that those born in the middle give the least to the family.

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.

Different strategies

"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.

Unique study

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
Further information:
http://www.bio.uio.no

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht How we understand others
28.04.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht The non-driving millennial? Not so simple, says new research
29.03.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nuclear Pores Captured on Film

Using an ultra fast-scanning atomic force microscope, a team of researchers from the University of Basel has filmed “living” nuclear pore complexes at work for the first time. Nuclear pores are molecular machines that control the traffic entering or exiting the cell nucleus. In their article published in Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers explain how the passage of unwanted molecules is prevented by rapidly moving molecular “tentacles” inside the pore.

Using high-speed AFM, Roderick Lim, Argovia Professor at the Biozentrum and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute of the University of Basel, has not only directly...

Im Focus: 2+1 is Not Always 3 - In the microworld unity is not always strength

If a person pushes a broken-down car alone, there is a certain effect. If another person helps, the result is the sum of their efforts. If two micro-particles are pushing another microparticle, however, the resulting effect may not necessarily be the sum their efforts. A recent study published in Nature Communications, measured this odd effect that scientists call “many body.”

In the microscopic world, where the modern miniaturized machines at the new frontiers of technology operate, as long as we are in the presence of two...

Im Focus: Tiny microbots that can clean up water

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute Stuttgart have developed self-propelled tiny ‘microbots’ that can remove lead or organic pollution from contaminated water.

Working with colleagues in Barcelona and Singapore, Samuel Sánchez’s group used graphene oxide to make their microscale motors, which are able to adsorb lead...

Im Focus: ORNL researchers discover new state of water molecule

Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of...

Im Focus: Bionic Lightweight Design researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute at Hannover Messe 2016

Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid

Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The “AC21 International Forum 2016” is About to Begin

27.04.2016 | Event News

Soft switching combines efficiency and improved electro-magnetic compatibility

15.04.2016 | Event News

Grid-Supportive Buildings Give Boost to Renewable Energy Integration

12.04.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New fabrication and thermo-optical tuning of whispering gallery microlasers

04.05.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Introducing the disposable laser

04.05.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

A new vortex identification method for 3-D complex flow

04.05.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>