Choosing Your Words Carefully: Managing 'Face' During On-Line Dispute Resolution
29 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2008
Date Written: 2007
We use politeness theory to predict how language may affect dispute resolution between sellers and buyers of goods purchased on-line. We expect that negative face threats will have a stronger impact than positive face threats on subjects in individualistic cultures, but that the reverse would be true for subjects in collectivist cultures. We report results of our first study, an experiment conducted through eLab focused on Americans. As predicted, negative face attacks by the seller have a stronger impact than positive face attacks on buyer's willingness to do business again with that seller. Data will also be collected from a collectivistic culture shortly.
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