With Christmas just three weeks away now, you may be wracking your brains for what to buy your loved ones.

But help is at hand, as TK Maxx has teamed up with behavioural scientists to uncover the science behind the perfect Christmas gifts.

Mike Hughes, one of the behavioural scientists who led the study, said: “After the year we’ve all had, meaningful gifting has taken on renewed importance and people are looking to give thoughtful gifts to their loved ones this Christmas.

“Armed with our psychologically informed prompts, shoppers will be able to find extra special gifts for the people that mean the most.”

The scientists took the premise of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs - a model that suggests people are motivated to fulfil basic needs before moving on to other, more advanced needs - and applied this to Christmas shopping.

The model indicates that most people fall into one of four key categories - a Curious Spirit, Big Achiever, Social Connector of Simplicity Seeker.

Curious Spirits tend to be happiest when losing themselves in their passions and interest, and are likely to be focused on planning new adventures in 2021.

Social Connectors are happiest when surrounded by loved ones, and are likely to have missed having physical connections amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Big Achievers are happiest when reaching personal goals, and tend to focus on kick-starting new projects.

And finally, Simplicity Seekers are happiest when enjoying home comforts and the simple things in life.

The scientists suggest that you consider which category your loved ones fall into, and ask yourself several questions to help decide on the perfect present.

If your loved one is a Curious Spirit, ask yourself what gifts could help them to create and express themselves, while if they’re a Social Connector, it’s likely your giftee will cherish a gift with a personal touch.

Meanwhile, if your loved one is a Big Achiever, they’re likely to enjoy a gift that recognises their best qualities, and if they’re a Simplicity Seeker, perhaps consider a practical gift.