Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Your gift, but my attitude: gift-givers’ aversion to attitude-inconsistent gifts

Your gift, but my attitude: gift-givers’ aversion to attitude-inconsistent gifts Gift-givers are often confronted with the possibility of choosing gifts that are inconsistent with their own attitudes (“attitude-inconsistent gifts”). For example, a gun opposer may be faced with the possibility of choosing gun paraphernalia as a gift, and a vegetarian might be forced to consider the possibility of choosing a steakhouse gift card as a gift. This study aims to compare givers’ decision-making when they are confronted with the possibility of choosing attitude-inconsistent gifts with their decision-making when they are faced with the possibility of choosing gifts that are neither inconsistent nor consistent with their attitudes (“attitude-neutral gifts”).Design/methodology/approachSeven experimental studies test the hypotheses. These studies have participants make decisions as givers and use a variety of gifts, giver-recipient relationships, gifting occasions and dependent variables, as well as both consequential and hypothetical decisions.FindingsGivers strategically avoid choosing attitude-inconsistent (vs attitude-neutral) gifts, even when they believe that these kinds of gifts are the ones that recipients desire the most. This aversion emerges because givers anticipate that choosing an attitude-inconsistent (vs attitude-neutral) gift would cause them to experience a higher level of psychological discomfort.Research limitations/implicationsThis research documents a novel gift-giving phenomenon (givers’ aversion to attitude-inconsistent gifts), one of the most widespread forms of intentional preference-mismatching in gift-giving (givers’ avoidance of attitude-inconsistent gifts when they believe that these kinds of gifts are the ones that recipients desire the most), and a psychological mechanism that has a strong influence on givers’ decision-making but was yet to be explored in the gift-giving literature (givers’ anticipations of psychological discomfort). Collectively, these facets improve the field’s understanding of consumer gift-giving and call into question the assumption that gift-giving is aimed predominantly at pleasing the recipient.Practical implications This research suggests that if gift-givers want to be more financially efficient, they should refrain from contemplating the feelings of psychological discomfort that they would experience from choosing an attitude-inconsistent gift and instead focus on selecting the gift that the recipient desires the most. Moreover, it indicates that gift-givers’ tendency to avoid preferred, attitude-inconsistent gifts can have undesirable social and well-being consequences. Finally, it suggests that firms’ bottom lines may be harmed by givers’ aversion to attitude-inconsistent gifts, and that firms selling products that are likely attitude-inconsistent for segments of consumers should think carefully about advertising those products as gifts.Originality/valueThe gift-giving literature has recently documented multiple cases of givers intentionally refraining from choosing the gifts that they believe best match recipients’ preferences. Yet, the present work shows that there was a considerable gap in this segment of the gift-giving literature. Specifically, the present research documents a previously unexplored, but highly common, instance in which intentional preference-mismatching in gift-giving occurs: whenever a potential gift is attitude-inconsistent. Moreover, this work sheds light on a psychological mechanism that plays an important role in givers’ decision-making but was yet to be explored in the gift-giving literature: givers’ anticipated feelings of psychological discomfort. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Marketing Emerald Publishing

Your gift, but my attitude: gift-givers’ aversion to attitude-inconsistent gifts

European Journal of Marketing , Volume 56 (5): 24 – May 24, 2022

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/your-gift-but-my-attitude-gift-givers-aversion-to-attitude-hfMfpPCluo

References (31)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0309-0566
eISSN
0309-0566
DOI
10.1108/ejm-02-2021-0075
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Gift-givers are often confronted with the possibility of choosing gifts that are inconsistent with their own attitudes (“attitude-inconsistent gifts”). For example, a gun opposer may be faced with the possibility of choosing gun paraphernalia as a gift, and a vegetarian might be forced to consider the possibility of choosing a steakhouse gift card as a gift. This study aims to compare givers’ decision-making when they are confronted with the possibility of choosing attitude-inconsistent gifts with their decision-making when they are faced with the possibility of choosing gifts that are neither inconsistent nor consistent with their attitudes (“attitude-neutral gifts”).Design/methodology/approachSeven experimental studies test the hypotheses. These studies have participants make decisions as givers and use a variety of gifts, giver-recipient relationships, gifting occasions and dependent variables, as well as both consequential and hypothetical decisions.FindingsGivers strategically avoid choosing attitude-inconsistent (vs attitude-neutral) gifts, even when they believe that these kinds of gifts are the ones that recipients desire the most. This aversion emerges because givers anticipate that choosing an attitude-inconsistent (vs attitude-neutral) gift would cause them to experience a higher level of psychological discomfort.Research limitations/implicationsThis research documents a novel gift-giving phenomenon (givers’ aversion to attitude-inconsistent gifts), one of the most widespread forms of intentional preference-mismatching in gift-giving (givers’ avoidance of attitude-inconsistent gifts when they believe that these kinds of gifts are the ones that recipients desire the most), and a psychological mechanism that has a strong influence on givers’ decision-making but was yet to be explored in the gift-giving literature (givers’ anticipations of psychological discomfort). Collectively, these facets improve the field’s understanding of consumer gift-giving and call into question the assumption that gift-giving is aimed predominantly at pleasing the recipient.Practical implications This research suggests that if gift-givers want to be more financially efficient, they should refrain from contemplating the feelings of psychological discomfort that they would experience from choosing an attitude-inconsistent gift and instead focus on selecting the gift that the recipient desires the most. Moreover, it indicates that gift-givers’ tendency to avoid preferred, attitude-inconsistent gifts can have undesirable social and well-being consequences. Finally, it suggests that firms’ bottom lines may be harmed by givers’ aversion to attitude-inconsistent gifts, and that firms selling products that are likely attitude-inconsistent for segments of consumers should think carefully about advertising those products as gifts.Originality/valueThe gift-giving literature has recently documented multiple cases of givers intentionally refraining from choosing the gifts that they believe best match recipients’ preferences. Yet, the present work shows that there was a considerable gap in this segment of the gift-giving literature. Specifically, the present research documents a previously unexplored, but highly common, instance in which intentional preference-mismatching in gift-giving occurs: whenever a potential gift is attitude-inconsistent. Moreover, this work sheds light on a psychological mechanism that plays an important role in givers’ decision-making but was yet to be explored in the gift-giving literature: givers’ anticipated feelings of psychological discomfort.

Journal

European Journal of MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: May 24, 2022

Keywords: Consumer behavior; Attitudes; Cognitive dissonance; Gift-giving; Self-other decision-making

There are no references for this article.