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ABSTRACT

The present research examines the moderating roles of self-construal and brand commitment in brand-situation congruity effects in persuasion. Self-construal refers to how individuals perceive themselves in the context of relationships with others (Singelis, 1994). Individuals with independent self-construal, who emphasize autonomy and assertiveness, value consistency regardless of social contexts, whereas people with interdependent self-construal value their relationships with others and adapt with flexibility to social situations. Commitment is a psychological state that globally represents the experience of dependence on a relationship and denotes a long-term orientation, including a feeling of attachment to a relational partner and a desire to maintain a relationship (Rusbult, 1983). In the same vein, brand commitment refers to emotional or psychological attachment to and dependence on a brand (Beatty & Kahle, 1988x). Experiment 1 demonstrated that brand-situation congruity, for which brand preference increases when the brand personality is congruent (vs. incongruent) with social situational cues, was stronger for interdependent (vs. independent) self-construal individuals. Experiment 2 provided further support for the moderating role of self-construal, when primed, in situation congruity effects as well as evidence for another moderator, brand commitment. That is, the moderating effect of self-construal on brand-situation congruity was stronger when consumers held weak (vs. strong) commitment to the target brand.