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Trust or not: the role of self-construal in the perceptions of trustworthiness toward salesclerks

People usually have favorable evaluations when incoming information matches with their self view, which has been evidenced in cross-cultural research on advertisement appeals. However, the current paper demonstrates a counterintuitive finding in a retailing context. Results show that when an interdependent self-construal is made salient situationally, individually focused persuasion attempts (i.e. uniqueness) have a more positive impact on consumers’ trustworthiness toward the salesclerk and need for uniqueness than interpersonally focused persuasion attempts (i.e. connectedness). However, when an independent self-construal is activated situationally, persuasion attempts used by a salesclerk have no influence on consumers’ perceptions of trustworthiness toward the salesclerk and need for uniqueness. Five studies are presented that test these propositions and investigate their underlying processes. Study 1 conducted in Canada supported the hypothesized effects. Study 2 provided evidence for the robustness of the effect observed in Study 1 by conducting a similar experiment in China. Study 3, a field study, further supported the propositions when measuring self-construal as an individual difference. Study 4 provided support for the proposed underlying mechanism. That is, the observed effect in Study 1, 2 & 3 is due to persuasion knowledge through deliberate processing. Study 5 extended this result by recruiting participants from four different countries (France, Canada, China, and Israel).

Identiferoai:union.ndltd.org:LACETR/oai:collectionscanada.gc.ca:MWU.1993/7890
Date12 June 2012
CreatorsGuo, Wenxia
ContributorsMain, Kelley (Marketing), Smith, Malcolm (Marketing) Feltham, Tammi (Textile Sciences) Friestad, Marian (Marketing, University of Oregon)
Source SetsLibrary and Archives Canada ETDs Repository / Centre d'archives des thèses électroniques de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Detected LanguageEnglish

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