Cross-cultural differences in Persuasion Knowledge: the effect of the individualist/collectivist cultural dimension on the recognition of persuasion intent and the role of persuasion strategy/agent type.

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Advertisement and other forms of persuasion attempts are almost omnipresent. Consumers are confronted with thousands of advertisements a day, and thus unconsciously develop persuasion coping mechanisms. Persuasion knowledge is one coping mechanism that is consumers can have to possible deal with persuasion attempts they are confronted with. This can however differ per country and per culture, and so the question arises what the differences between cultures exactly are, and if these can differ for different persuasion tactics as well. The present study studied the differences between an individualistic culture, represented by the Netherlands, and a collectivistic culture, represented by Vietnam, with regards to their persuasion knowledge coping mechanisms and their attitudes when confronted with persuasive content using different persuasion strategies. The present study had two participants groups, one from each nationality, fill in a questionnaire in their own language in which they were all confronted with an advertisement that contained either a scarcity, a reciprocity, or a neutral tactic. The findings of the present study show that the Vietnamese participants had higher levels of inferences of manipulative intent (IMI) for all three ads, compared to the Dutch group. However, no significant differences in IMI between the scarcity and the reciprocity tactics were found in both the Dutch and the Vietnamese group. Furthermore, the study found that the Dutch participants had higher purchase intention for all three ads. Attitude towards the ad (Aad) was not affected by nationality, but was slightly affected by ad type, where the neutral ads received higher Aad scores. Lastly, inferences of manipulative intent were found to lower both purchase intention and attitude towards the ad in both nationalities. The present study is mostly in line with earlier research and paves the way for further research on the topic of persuasion knowledge differences between cultures. Furthermore, it shows that cultures can differ with regards to their persuasion coping mechanisms.
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