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Title:Culture and Mental Representations of Power: Implications for Consumers' Information-Processing Strategies, Judgments, and Influence Attempts
Author(s):Torelli, Carlos Javier
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Shavitt, Sharon
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Business Administration, Marketing
Abstract:This research examines the link between culture and consumer phenomena by focusing on the relationship between cultural orientation and mental representations of power goals. We distinguish among cultures that foster associations of power with status-enhancing concerns, those that encourage associations of power with concerns for the welfare of others, and those that do not emphasize the use of power as a theme for organizing social information. The research builds upon the relatively new distinction in the study of culture between horizontal (valuing equality) and vertical (emphasizing status and power) cultural orientations. We analyze implications of this distinction in view of research about the effects of power on goal activation and motivated impression formation. Integrating these approaches, we develop a framework for linking cultural orientation with distinct mental representations of power goals. This helps us to predict the power goals that individuals with different cultural orientations activate as well as their information processing strategies in varied consumer contexts. Results from seven studies support the notion that individuals high in vertical individualism (VI) have strong mental representations of personalized power goals, whereas individuals high in horizontal collectivism (HC) have strong representations of socialized power goals. In turn, activation of these goals has consequences for consumers' information processes. Results from three studies indicate that, when power is made salient, individuals high (vs. low) in VI engage more in stereotyping processes. They attend more to and remember better information congruent (relative to incongruent) with their prior expectation about a target product. In contrast, individuals high (vs. low) in HC engage more in individuating processes. They attend more to and remember better the non-redundant information incongruent with their prior expectations about the target product. We discuss implications from these findings to the broader domains of consumer behavior and to cross-cultural research within the individualism-collectivism framework.
Issue Date:2007
Description:165 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3270042
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007

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