Gift-Giving Behaviors: Views From an Attachment Perspective

Hieu P. Nguyen, University of Texas at Arlington
James M. Munch, University of Texas at Arlington
This research provides a fresh perspective on the study of gift-giving behaviors among individuals in romantic relationships. Interpersonal attachment theory provides a firm foundation on which we based our hypotheses. Specifically, we explore individuals’ gift giving behaviors based on their dispositional attachment orientations and show that an individual’s attachment orientation exerts differential effects on their gift giving behaviors. We found that anxiously attached individuals view gift giving as an obligation rather than altruism and tend to experience more anxiety while searching for gifts. They prefer gifts that are prestigious, functional, and fun. In return, they expect romantic partners to express gratitude. On the other hand, avoidant individuals do not manifest these behaviors, and they don’t volunteer to give gifts.
[ to cite ]:
Hieu P. Nguyen and James M. Munch (2007) ,"Gift-Giving Behaviors: Views From an Attachment Perspective", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 16-17.