Information and Culture: Cultural Differences in the Perception and Recall of Information from Advertisements
Kim, Ji-Hyun (author)
Gross, Melissa (professor directing dissertation)
Goldsmith, Ronald (university representative)
Marty, Paul F. (committee member)
Lustria, Mia Liza A. (committee member)
School of Library and Information Studies (degree granting department)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
Information in general is congruent with cultural values because a culture consists of transmitted social knowledge. Cross-cultural research demonstrates that audiences who are fostered by different cultures may have different understandings of information. This research represents a comprehensive cross-cultural study using an experimental method, and contributes to multicultural studies in understanding individuals' perceptions of information, recalls of information, and attitudes based on cultures. This study investigates whether people in individual or collective cultures have different perceptions of information in advertisements, recall of information in advertisements, and attitudes toward advertisements providing information in high- or low- context conditions. The theoretical frameworks of interest in the study are two cultural theories: Hofstede's (1980) individualism vs. collectivism and Hall's (1976) high context vs. low context. The hypotheses were tested using a 2 × 2 factorial between-subject experimental design: individualism/collectivism and high context/low context. The low-context condition employed facts and direct information in a test advertisement, while the high-context condition included indirect messages (e.g. images, moods, and symbols) in a test advertisement. The responses of experimental groups were compared and analyzed after they were exposed to two different stimuli. The subjects consisted of 82 American students and 82 Korean students. To check the two subject groups' cultural differences, this research employs Oyserman et al.'s (2002) individualism and collectivism scale. The test results indicate that American subjects are classified as an individualistic culture, while the Korean subjects represent a collectivistic culture. The experiment results indicate that students in individualistic and collectivistic cultures respond differently to information in high- or low-context advertisements. Koreans tend to be more comfortable with high-context culture that uses indirect and ambiguous messages. The Korean subjects showed higher ratings for perceptions of information in a high-context advertisement than the American subjects. The American subjects perceived more information than Korean subjects in the low-context advertisement, but this result was not statistically significant. There is no statistically significant difference in recall of information from high- and low-context conditions between American and Korean subjects. The American subjects showed significantly more favorable attitudes toward the low-context advertisement than the Korean students. However, there was no statistically significant difference in attitudes toward the high-context advertisement between American and Korean students. This study partially supports the notion that cultural differences influence the perception of information in advertisements, recall of information in advertisements, and attitudes toward advertisements providing information in high- or low- context conditions. The findings obtained in this study suggest several exciting opportunities for future research.
1. Information, 2. culture, 3. perception, 4. recall, 5. attitude, 6. advertisement
February 1, 2012.
A Dissertation submitted to the School of Library and Information Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Melissa Gross, Professor Directing Dissertation; Ronald Goldsmith, University Representative; Paul F. Marty, Committee Member; Mia Liza A. Lustria, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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