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You get more out of giving a gift if you don’t expect anything in return, say SFU researchers

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A new study from Simon Fraser University (SFU) suggests that you get more out of giving a gift, if you don’t expect anything in return.

SFU psychology PhD student Dylan Wiwad said that there are benefits to giving “selfishly” — like when you buy pizza for someone who helps you move — but it’s even better with no further expectations.

READ MORE: The Christmas gifts you shouldn’t give (and the ones you should)

“Sometimes giving for selfish reasons can backfire, so to speak, in terms of our own our own well-being,” Wiwad said. “It’s just not as beneficial.”

Wiwad said he hopes to do another study that looks at the actual act of giving, but there are challenges that need to be addressed first.

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“It’s really hard to tell somebody, ‘go and give for this reason,’” Wiwad said. “We can tell them how to spend the money, or how to give, but we can’t necessarily tell them why.”

Wiwad’s research is an extension of a 2008 study done by the overseeing professor, Lara Aknin, which found that more enjoyment is received out of spending money on other people, rather than yourself.