When Does Culture Matter? Effects of Personal Knowledge on the Correction of Culture-based Judgments

When Does Culture Matter? Effects of Personal Knowledge on the Correction of Culture-based Judgments

By Jennifer Aaker, Donnel Briley
2006Working Paper No. 1911

Four experiments demonstrate that culture-based differences in persuasion arise when information is processed in a cursory, spontaneous manner, but dissipate when one’s intuitions are supplemented by more deliberative processing. North Americans are more persuaded by promotion-focused information, and Chinese individuals are more persuaded by prevention-focused information – but only when initial, automatic reactions to messages are given. Corrections to these default judgments occur when processing is thoughtful. These results underscore the idea that culture does not exert a constant, unwavering effect on consumer judgments. One key factor in determining whether culture-based effects loom large or disappear is the degree to which cultural versus more personal knowledge is drawn upon when forming judgments.