- 社会心理学研究 (ISSN:09161503)
- vol.24, no.3, pp.233-248, 2009
Arakawa & Murakami (2006) reported that some people keep "lucky charms" not because they have faith in them, but because the lucky charms were gifts from people close to them. This indicates that lucky charms are used as a communication tool, through gift-giving, rather than as goods. To examine why lucky charms are given between parents and children, 89 pairs (students and their parents, the relatives who most commonly give lucky charms) completed questionnaires. The results showed that parents gave children lucky charms more often than vice versa. The lucky charms were given by parents to their children as a token to ward off danger or for luck in an exam. The parents thereby sought to reduce their own anxiety, as well as that of the children, and to relay the message that they were supportive as the child grew up. In addition, the children sometimes looked at the lucky charm and were reminded of their parents. It is clear from these results that, despite there being a difference of understanding in the purpose of the gift between the giver and the receiver, gift giving results in the mutual extraction of meaning from the act. The result is discussed in terms of "goods-mediated communication" through gift-giving, focusing on this ambiguity.