“Jij” and “u” in Dutch and “du” and “Sie” in German: Comparing formal and informal second person pronouns in a market research .
In an online experiment among native speakers of Dutch and German young adults, the influence of formal and informal second person pronouns in a market research evaluating hedonic products was investigated. A total of 119 participants were provided a questionnaire in which four products (perfume, necklace, watch, hat) were evaluated. The participants were provided a questionnaire in their mother tongue (Dutch or German) including either formal or informal second person pronouns. After having seen a picture of a product, participants evaluated each product on several seven-point Likert scales regarding attitude towards the product, consumer involvement, and purchase intention. There was no significant difference between formal and informal second person pronouns in the evaluation of hedonic products in a market research, neither for Dutch young adults nor for German young adults. We did find a difference between the evaluations of Dutch and German young adults. German young adults evaluated the products in the market research more negatively than Dutch young adults.
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