My research focuses primarily on the cross-cultural factors affecting consumer persuasion, attitudinal and value judgments, and survey responding.
Sample Cross-Cultural Research Projects:
Cultural Differences in Self-Presentation and Survey Responding
A variety of projects examine the role of cultural factors in prompting socially desirable responding (SDR; i.e., responding to questions in a manner designed to make the respondent look good) and other survey response styles. In one project, survey research conducted with different populations assessed how collectivist and individualist cultural orientations affect such responding. We proposed that people with both types of cultural orientations engage in desirable responding, albeit in distinct ways. Across several studies, people with an individualistic cultural orientation appear more likely to engage in self-deceptive enhancement, the tendency to see oneself in a positive light and to give inflated assessments of one’s skills and abilities. Collectivists are more likely to engage in impression management by misrepresenting their self-reported actions to appear more normatively appropriate. This program of research contributes to survey methodology by, 1) examining distinctions between types of SDR and, 2) demonstrating that respondents with different cultural orientations use distinct strategies for self-presentation. Results also have implications for improving the quality of data obtained from samples with different cultural orientations, especially when survey questions ask for sensitive information.
Cultural Differences in Advertising Effectiveness
Examines the types of advertising messages that are persuasive to consumers, as a function of their cultural values and their ethnicity. Analyses focus on the role of vertical versus horizontal cultural orientations in the effectiveness of status-relevant appeals. Results have implications for understanding the way opinions and judgments are formed in different societies and cultural groups.
Cultural Differences in Advertising Content
Examines the types of advertising messages that tend to appear in different societies, especially China and the U.S. Related research examines the effects of those advertising messages on cultural values and self-construals among Chinese and U.S. consumers. Focus is on individualism and modernity values in ads, compared to collectivism and tradition values.