Why budding guitarists have a fetish for rock hero instruments

February 15th, 2011 - 2:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 15 (ANI): Most guitarists have a desire to own an instrument just like the one their rock idol owns, or something similar to that - now a new study explains why.

“Like people from the Middle Ages who sought saints’ relics, modern consumers like the budding rock guitarist desire fetishes (objects perceived as magical and possessing extraordinary power)” write authors Karen V. Fernandez (University of Aukland, New Zealand) and John L. Lastovicka (Arizona State University).

“We live in a world where anybody with a modest amount of money can buy a close copy or a replica of a desired object. We wanted to know why consumers who desired a particular rock star’s instrument would settle for replicas of it; and how those copies became perceived as special, magical objects in their own right,” they write.

The team interviewed 16 men and found that many participants believed in the idea of “contagious magic” (the idea that two entities that touch can influence each other).

The research also revealed that replica guitars appeal to participants’ belief in “imitative magic” (things that look alike are alike).

“They often bought the best possible copy they could attain, and then if needed, made further changes to it so that it resembled the desired object even more closely,” the authors explain.

“A fetish object does not guarantee a hit recording, a major league record, or a safe return home from battle,” the authors write.

“However, fetish objects increase confidence and reduce anxiety and hence increase performance.”

The study appears in the journal of Consumer Research. (ANI)

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