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Exploring the cultural antecedents to consensus information usage

Authors Zhang, Yinlong
Issue Date 1999
Summary Prior research in Asia has shown that consensus information is perceived as more diagnostic than attribute information for collectivists when forming their initial attitudes. In contrast, past studies in an individualist culture show reversed results. It has been hypothesized that this effect is due to a difference in self-construal of the two groups (interdependent self-construal for collectivists versus independent self-construal for individualists). However, as is true of much cross-cultural research, it is possible that cross-national differences other than culture might drive the effect. This paper tries to discern the antecedent causal mechanism for this cross-culture difference on consensus information usage. The possibility of cross-national influence is further ruled out in this research by holding nationality constant, and directly manipulating self-construal by means of a cultural prime. Preliminary analysis shows that an interdependent versus independent self-construal is indeed responsible for observed differences in consensus information usage. Moreover, it appears that situational factors may alter one's activated self-construal and consequently change the perceived diagnosticity of the consensus cue.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 1999
Language English
Format Thesis
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