Visiting Santa: an additional look

Psychol Rep. 2007 Dec;101(3 Pt 1):779-83. doi: 10.2466/pr0.101.3.779-783.


Two informal enquiries of the emotions of 600 children queued up to meet Santa Claus in shopping malls during the 2003 and 2004 Yuletide seasons suggested that about 80% appeared to be indifferent to seeing Santa. Emotions were estimated using a standard scale of facial expressions. A replication of these studies in 2005 observing another 200 children indicated that this rate declined (to about 60%) the closer was Christmas day. To investigate in more detail the feelings of the guardians accompanying indifferent children, this study was conducted in 2006. Of the total of 300 guardians (who were accompanying 300 children) 87% appeared to be happy. They were escorting 91% of the 200 children who seemed to be indifferent.

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Attitude*
  • Child
  • Facial Expression
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Holidays / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male