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The cultural congruency effect: Culture, regulatory focus, and the effectiveness of gain- vs. loss-framed health messages

Uskul, Ayse K and Sherman, David K and Fitzgibbon, John (2009) 'The cultural congruency effect: Culture, regulatory focus, and the effectiveness of gain- vs. loss-framed health messages.' Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45 (3). pp. 535-541. ISSN 00221031

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Abstract

The present study contributes a cultural analysis to the literature on the persuasive effects of matching message frame to individuals’ motivational orientations. One experiment examines how members of cultural groups that are likely to differ in their regulatory focus respond to health messages focusing on either the benefits of flossing or the costs of not flossing. White British participants, who had a stronger promotion focus, were more persuaded by the gain-framed message, whereas East-Asian participants, who had a stronger prevention focus, were more persuaded by the loss-framed message. This cultural difference in persuasion was mediated by an interaction between individuals’ self-regulatory focus and type of health message. Thus health messages framed to be culturally congruent led participants to have more positive attitudes and stronger intentions to perform the health behaviors, and the interaction between self-regulatory focus and message frame emerged as the pathway through which the observed cultural difference occurs. Discussion focuses on the integration of individual difference, socio-cultural, and situational factors into models of health persuasion.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Culture; Regulatory focus; Gain- and loss-framed messages; Congruency effect
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2011 09:37
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2011 09:43
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475

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