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Empathy versus Pride: The Influence of Emotional Appeals across Cultures

Jennifer L Aaker and Patti Williams

Journal of Consumer Research, 1998, vol. 25, issue 3, 241-61

Abstract: This research examines the persuasive effect of emotional appeals on members of collectivist versus individualist cultures. The results of two experiments demonstrate that ego-focused (e.g., pride, happiness) versus other-focused (e.g., empathy, peacefulness) emotional appeals lead to more favorable attitudes for members of a collectivist culture, while other-focused versus ego-focused emotional appeals lead to more favorable attitudes for members of an individualist culture. Experiment 2 was conducted to examine the psychological mechanism underlying these effects. The results indicated that the generation of and elaboration on a relatively novel type of thought (individual thoughts for members of a collectivist culture, collective thoughts for members of an individualist culture) account for the persuasive effects found in this research. These results are interpreted within an ability-motivation framework, and theoretical implications involving cross-cultural persuasion effects are discussed. Copyright 1998 by the University of Chicago.

Date: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:25:y:1998:i:3:p:241-61