Citation (2013) Gift-Giver’s Attachment Styles and the Experience of Emotions. Academy of Marketing 2013, 08.07.2013-11.07.2013. Cardiff.
Abstract This paper discusses the use and value of attachment theory to illuminate dyadic gift-giving
behaviour in close relationships. Attachment theory (Bowlby, 1969), explains the tendency of
humans to create strong emotional bonds with significant others and it is one of the most used
theoretical frameworks influencing research in close relationships (Fraley et al., 2011). This
perspective provides solid theoretical foundations to link close relationships and gift-giving
behaviour. Individuals with particular attachment styles are predisposed to think, feel and
behave differently in their relationships (Collins, 1996). Drawing on this theory, a model is
presented to elucidate whether gift givers with some attachment styles are more prone than
others to experience particular emotions when giving or to perceive gift-receiver’s responses
differently. Using gift-giving diaries written by fourteen gift-givers, this paper discusses the
most frequently mentioned positive emotions both that the gift-giver's experience when
giving a gift and that they perceive the receiver as experiencing. It also discusses the
underlying reasons for these emotions for gift-givers with different attachment styles.
Practitioners might benefit from considering attachment orientations to better understand
their consumers and the gift-giving process (Nguyen&Munch, 2011). This paper sets a basis
for debate and lays the foundations for future empirical research.