Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Guitar heroes: When the magic transfers from rock stars to instruments

Date:
February 14, 2011
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Budding guitarists seek the magical powers of rock hero instruments, according to a new study.

Budding guitarists seek the magical powers of rock hero instruments, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"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," the authors write. "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."

The researchers conducted in-depth interviews with sixteen men who owned more than one guitar and resided either in New Zealand or the United States. They found that many participants believed in the idea of "contagious magic" (the idea that two entities that touch can influence each other). For example, many fans want to have rock stars sign their instruments, and one established performer explained how he used another rock star's discarded guitar strings.

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. For example, some consumers switch out knobs on their guitars to more closely resemble the instruments of the artists they admired.

When players acquire new instruments, they play them often and become bonded with the objects. "A guitar then often becomes perceived as a player's confidant, companion, collaborator, wife, girlfriend, or muse," the authors write. And guitar players act out their fantasies by playing their guitars in private and in public.

"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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Karen V. Fernandez and John L. Lastovicka. Making Magic: Fetishes in Contemporary Consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, August 2011

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Guitar heroes: When the magic transfers from rock stars to instruments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214163100.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2011, February 14). Guitar heroes: When the magic transfers from rock stars to instruments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214163100.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Guitar heroes: When the magic transfers from rock stars to instruments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214163100.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins