After a certain age, around pre-adolescence, children would be happier to receive an experience than a material gift, according to an American study. Explanations and advice from researchers.

Forget the latest video game console, the traditional jewel or the latest headset. To please a teenager or a pre-adolescent, it would be better to bet on the experience to be lived to make him happy and to please him durably.

This is what emerges from a new scientific study published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing, which compared the levels of happiness children get from material goods with those they get from lived experiences.

It thus seems that the older the children, the more priority should be given to the experience to be given to the purely material gift to make them happy over time.

The research was conducted from four studies conducted with children and adolescents aged 3 to 17, and thus showed that if 3-12 people derive more happiness from material objects than from experiences, it is more the case for over 12 years.

   “What this means is that the experiences are highly coveted by adolescents, [who don't desire] just expensive material things, as one might think,” commented Lan Nguyen Chaplin, associate professor of marketing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and lead author of the study.

“Don't get me wrong”, however, continues the researcher: “Young children love experiences. Entire industries (eg, theme parks like Disneyland) are built around this premise. In fact, young children are thrilled throughout the experience. However, for the experiences to be lasting happiness, children must be able to remember the details of the event long after it is over, ”she says.

Lan Nguyen Chaplin does not, however, recommend giving up experiences (zoos, theme parks, museums, aquariums, birthday parties, snow holidays, seaside holidays, etc.) with the youngest. Instead, she recommends that parents capture those moments with photos or videos. “Children are likely to enjoy these experiences more if there is something left to remind them of these events. In addition, they will be able to learn the social value of shared experiences ”, continues the researcher. And with age, making new memories and exploring new interests may become far more valuable than acquiring new possessions.

  Source : Eurekalert