Leon Neyfakh, Boston Globe Ideas Reporter

If you want to really feel panic, I’ve got some news for you: Only 8 shopping days left until Christmas. And if you’re still trying to figure out what to get for that special someone, you may want to listen up. You know the expression “give from the heart?” Turns out, that could be the worst gift-giving advice around. Instead, what you might need to understand more is not the emotion, but the science of giving. That’s right, the science. Strip away the warm feeling and sentiment, and what you get to is the science — and it just might be what you need to understand why you give and what people really want for Christmas. Leon Neyfakh is the Boston Globe’s Ideas reporter. He writes about new research and thought coming out of academia and his latest piece is for all you late shoppers out there. (Originally broadcast 12-16-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

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