HPU Poll: North Carolina Residents Feel that Valentine’s Day is Rewarding

Posted on February 14, 2013.
Dr. Sadie Leder, associate director of the HPU Poll

Dr. Sadie Leder, associate director of the HPU Poll

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 12, 2013 – A recent HPU Poll finds that most North Carolina residents view Valentine’s Day as a rewarding holiday. On average, participants rated the holiday a 6.4 on a scale from 0 (not at all rewarding) to 10 (extremely rewarding); translating to 61 percent of respondents reporting that Valentine’s Day was moderately to extremely rewarding.

Despite their enjoyment of the holiday, results also found that a majority of North Carolina residents – 58 percent – feel that Valentine’s Day has no influence on the closeness they feel for a romantic partner.

Regarding the stress factor sometimes associated with the holiday, participants reported an average score of 4 on a scale from 0 (not at all stressful) to 10 (extremely stressful); translating to 44 percent reporting that Valentine’s Day caused no stress at all. These findings held true for individuals who were married, as well as single. However, those who were married or engaged reported the least amount of stress associated with the holiday.

“Valentine’s Day can often bring with it an assortment of emotions,” says Dr. Sadie Leder, associate director of the HPU Poll. “On one hand, it is a time for showing how much you cherish your romantic partner, but on the other, it can also cause a great deal of stress as you consider how best to show your affection for a loved one or potentially reminisce about lost love. Interestingly, the results show that North Carolinians are focused on the positive aspects of the holiday, rather than its potential stressors.”

The HPU Poll asked similar questions to North Carolinians at the same time in 2012. Results showed that 60 percent of those believed that gift-giving was a positive part of the holiday. (Those findings are archived at: This year, the types of gifts that are given were examined, and the poll found that chocolate and candy (33 percent), flowers (33 percent) and cards (26 percent) topped the list.

To see more from Dr. Leder on the subject of Valentine’s Day and research on romantic

relationships, read a Q&A with her here:


Sentiments toward Valentine’s Day

Generally speaking, do you find that Valentine’s Day increases, decreases, or has no influence on the closeness you feel to a romantic partner?

Increases – 34 percent

Decreases – 1 percent

Has no influence – 58 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 7 percent

On a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is extremely, please indicate how stressful the Valentine’s Day holiday is for a romantic relationship.

0 (not at all) – 44 percent

1 – 6 percent

2 – 6 percent

3 – 6 percent

4 – 5 percent

5 (moderately) – 12 percent

6 – 4 percent

7 – 5 percent

8 – 3 percent

9 – 1 percent

10 (extremely) – 2 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 6 percent

*Average rating of stress for participants on a scale from 0-10 was 3.97

On a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is extremely, please indicate how rewarding the Valentine’s Day holiday is for a romantic relationship.

0 (not at all) – 17 percent

1 – 3 percent

2 – 5 percent

3 – 5 percent

4 – 4 percent

5 (moderately) – 22 percent
6 – 7 percent

7 – 8 percent

8 – 8 percent

9 – 5 percent

10 (extremely) – 12 percent

Don’t know/refuse – 6 percent

*Average rating for how rewarding Valentine’s Day is on a scale from 0-10 was 6.41

What types of gifts do you typically give for Valentine’s Day?

Chocolates/Candy – 33 percent

Flowers – 33 percent

Jewelry – 10 percent

Cards – 27 percent

Stuffed Animals – 6 percent

Dinner – 9 percent

Perfume/Cologne – 3 percent

Trips – 9 percent

Others – 24 percent

Don’t Know/Refuse – 10 percent

*Totals do not sum to 100, because respondents were asked to select all that applied and multiple responses were possible.

The most recent survey was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Jan. 27-31, 2013. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 668 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 3.8 percentage points. The data are weighted when appropriate toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender and race. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Dr. Sadie Leder, assistant professor of psychology, serves as the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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