An investigation of the power of emotions in relationship realignment: The gift recipient's perspective



This study investigates the types of emotions that link a broad spectrum of idiosyncratic, gift-exchange experiences with specific relationship realignment outcomes. Content analysis and analysis-of-variance procedures are used to assess the link between emotions and gift recipients' perceptions of relationship quality. The results demonstrate that rather than the overall amount of felt emotions, it is the balance of positive and negative emotions that is associated with specific relationship outcomes. It also appears that coping processes allow individuals to realize an overall neutral or positive outcome for the relationship, even if negative emotions are experienced. Moreover, different patterns of emotions characterize each of five different relational outcomes of the gift-receipt experience. These results have theoretical and practical implications for gift exchange as well as other emotion-laden marketing relationships, such as those found in services and personal selling contexts. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.