Under such circumstances, the obligation to purchase a gift may be perceived as a threat to freedom, eliciting psychological reactance (Clee and Wicklund 1980), creating a negative rather than positive purchase experience.In contrast to these occasions, people give gifts from what appear more voluntary motives: to cheer up a depressed friend, share a unique object found in the shopping mall, express apology, concern or affection.
Thus, the giver's motivation is generated by social obligation.
Voluntary gift giving can be manipulative or threatening rather than benign or altruistic (Schwartz 1967).
For example, giving a child a set of warm clothes may imply that the parents are careless (Poe 1977), and a small subliterature addresses the topic of patients who use gifts to manipulate or create a lasting bond with the therapist (e.g., Stein 1965; Orgel and Shengold 1968; Silber 1969; Kritzberg 1980).
Smith, and Susan Spiggle (1990) ,"Gift Giving: Consumer Motivation and the Gift Purchase Process", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 17, eds. This paper proposes that the extent to which gift givers are motivated by primarily voluntary or obligatory motives shapes the gift selection, acquisition, and post purchase process.
Pollay, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 690-698.
In his 3-stage model of gift giving, he distinguishes between altruistic and agonistic motives which occur in the initial stage of the gift-giving process and which presumably affect activities at subsequent stages.