Will people respond to Christmas cards from senders they’ve never met?

…researchers sent Christmas cards to people they’d never met, then waited to see what they’d do. To make things more interesting, the scientists made some cards look as if they’d come from senders of high status. (In case you were wondering, they accomplished this via the time-tested method of inserting “Dr.” into the sender’s name.)

In both studies, a significant number of people actually responded by sending cards, letters, or photos back, often with a personal note saying how much they missed their old acquaintance. (A relatively small number of the respondents did admit, rather embarrassedly, that they had no idea who the sender was.)

Also in both studies, cards from senders of higher status were far more likely to receive a card in return.

The full story (and links to the papers) is here.

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