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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).
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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