Social Endorsement Effects on Message Processing: Cross-Cultural Analysis

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Myojung Chung

Abstract

This study examines cross-cultural variations in the effects of social endorsement on online message processing. A 2 x 3 between-subjects experiment (N = 567) was conducted, in which country (Korea vs. U.S.) and social endorsement level (none vs. low vs. high) were manipulated. Results suggest the level of social endorsement affects perceived quality of message in the U.S., but not in Korea. Results also show that Korean subjects are not dominantly collectivistic, as many scholars have assumed. Rather, they display a bi-cultural tendency. The U.S. subjects demonstrate dominantly independent self-construal, but report higher interdependent self-construal scores than Korean subjects. The findings also reveal that independent and interdependent self-construal may influence the direction and magnitude of social endorsement effects on perceived quality of message to some extent, albeit not as a primary factor. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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