Empathy Versus Price: The Influence of Emotional Appeals Across Cultures

23 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2006

See all articles by Patti Williams

Patti Williams

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Jennifer Aaker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Date Written: December 1998

Abstract

This research examines the persuasive effect of emotional appeals on members of collectivist versus individualist cultures. The results of two experiments demonstate that ego-focused (e.g., pride, happiness) versus other-focused (e.g., empathy, peacefulness) emotional appeals lead to more favorable attitudes for members of a collectivist culture, while other-focused versus ego-focused emotional appeals lead to more favorable attitudes for members of an individualist culture. Experiment 2 was conducted to examine the psychological mechanism underlying these effects. The results indicated that the generation of and elaboration on a relatively novel type of thought (individual thoughts for members of an collectivist culture, collective thoughts for members of a individualist culture) account for the persuasive effects found in this research. These results are interpreted within an ability-motivation framework, and theoretical implications involving cross-cultural persuasion effects are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Williams, Patti and Aaker, Jennifer Lynn, Empathy Versus Price: The Influence of Emotional Appeals Across Cultures (December 1998). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=945435 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.945435

Patti Williams

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Jennifer Lynn Aaker (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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