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Additivity versus attenuation : the role of culture in the resolution of information incongruity

Authors Aaker, Jennifer L.
Sengupta, Jaideep
Issue Date 1998-01
Source Marketing Working Paper Series ; MKTG 98.109
Summary Past research on dual process models of persuasion has documented that, when faced with incongruity between attribute and source information, consumers tend to form product evaluations by attenuating the less diagnostic (source) information and relying solely on the more diagnostic (attribute) information. The current research suggests that this way of resolving incongruity may be culture specific. In Experiment 1, we draw on research in cultural psychology to demonstrate that while members of an individualist culture tend to follow the attenuation strategy described above, members of a collectivist culture tend to follow an additive strategy wherein both source and attribute information impact product evaluations. In Experiments 2 and 3, we provide further support for the proposed psychological mechanism underlying these results, and identify contexts under which these cultural differences are diminished.
Language English
Format Working paper
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