The influence of culture and close others on the effectiveness of (self)-persuasion
SourceJournal of General Psychology, 149, 2, (2022), pp. 139-168
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
SW OZ BSI CW
Journal of General Psychology
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Communication and Media
Although self-persuasion was shown to be more effective than direct persuasion in changing attitudes and intentions, its effectiveness in different cultures remains unclear. Furthermore, research suggests that Eastern individuals tend to incorporate close others in the self to a larger extent than Western individuals. Combining both lines of research, the current studies examined whether thinking of a close other would influence the effectiveness of (self)-persuasion across cultures. Two parallel studies were conducted. U.S. participants (n study 1 = 195; n study 2 = 292) and Chinese participants (n study 1 = 187; n study 2 = 313) reported their initial attitudes and intentions toward five target behaviors prior to either think of a specific close other or not. Subsequently, they were randomly assigned to receive either a self-persuasion or a direct persuasion task. Specifically, the self-persuasion task led participants to generate own arguments or arguments that they think the close other would give; the direct persuasion task led participants to read given arguments or imagine that the arguments were from the close other. In the end, all participants reported their attitudes and intentions again after doing the persuasion tasks. The moderation effect of culture was only found in Study 1, such that direct persuasion worked more effectively in Chinese participants than self-persuasion, whereas the effectiveness of the two persuasive techniques did not differ in U.S. participants. In both studies, thinking of a close other was not found to influence the effectiveness of (self-)persuasion across cultures. Possible explanations and future research directions were discussed.
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