JOURNAL OF MARKETING DEVELOPMENT AND COMPETITIVENESS
Metaperception, Reciprocity, Generosity, and Anxiety: Consumer
Ambivalence and Gift Card Use
Author(s): Caroline Graham Austin, Lei Huang
Citation: Caroline Graham Austin, Lei Huang, (2011) "Metaperception, Reciprocity, Generosity, and Anxiety: Consumer Ambivalence and Gift Card Use" Vol. 5, Iss. 6, pp. 11 - 26
Article Type: Research paper
Publisher: North American Business Press
This research builds on gift-giving theories by accounting for the givers’ ambivalence toward the gift itself, despite the ubiquity of gift card use and even despite recipients’ unambiguous appreciation of the gift card. Results from our multi-method study suggest that while gift cards help alleviate shoppers’ anxieties related to the gift selection process, we find that they violate Western norms related to gift-seeking effort, and non-disclosure of price. The giver’s ambivalence toward gift cards is somewhat validated by gift card recipient’s attributions of low effort or low knowledge by the giver.