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Twenty First Birthday Ideas: Gifts versus Experiences, which offers more happiness?

If given the choice between getting a gift or an experience for a birthday present to make us happier, which should we choose?

According to a 2010 Cornell University study, purchasing experiences makes people today happier than purchasing possessions. Their reasoning is really because when it comes to purchasing physical items, people usually doubt their decisions and stress over missed deals. Meanwhile in the matter of an experience, they’re very subjective, driving them to positive experiences and there is no other basis of comparison so there is less anxiety over missed possibilities.

Aside from the study, the key reason experiences can beat gifts are because individuals adjust to the tangible gifts. In the beginning, we like them because they’re shiny and brand new. But as humans and as creatures of habit, we adjust. As the novelty of the gift wears off, so does the…

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