Accessibility or Diagnosticity?

Accessibility or Diagnosticity?

Journal of Consumer Research. March
2000, Vol. 26, Issue 4, Pages 340-357

This research explores the extent to which differences in perceived diagnosticity as compared with differences in the accessibility of associations embedded in persuasion appeals better account for the attitudinal differences found in the culture and persuasion literature. Experiment 1 replicates basic findings showing that high culture-distinct associations lead to more favorable attitudes for individuals in the target culture relative to a nontarget culture, while low culture-distinct associations lead to more attitudinal similarities across cultural boundaries. Experiments 2 and 3 explore two potential explanations for these effects. Convergent evidence, provided through within-culture and across-culture mediation analysis, is more supportive of the differential accessibility explanation. That is, high culture-distinct associations may be valued in the nontarget culture but are relatively inaccessible in memory at an individual level. The results of these experiments help to reconcile conflicting findings in the consumer psychology literature, shed insight on why cultural differences might occur, and add to the growing body of research that identifies conditions under which cultural similarities in persuasion processes and effects may be found.