Cross-National Differences in Website Appeal: A Framework for Assessment


  • Brian F. Blake,

    Corresponding author
    1. (Ph.D., Purdue University) is Director of the Consumer Industrial Research Program at Cleveland State University, and Professor of Psychology. A consumer psychologist with over 25 years of business experience, he has been a partner in two sizeable market research firms, with clients including such national companies as Merck & Co., Land o' Lakes, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, and American Greetings. His scholarly work has appeared in such publications as Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Research in Personality, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Internet Research.
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  • Kimberly Neuendorf

    Corresponding author
    1. (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is Director of the Communication Research Center at Cleveland State University, and Professor of Communication. Her research has appeared in such publications as Communication Yearbook, Communication Monographs, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journal of Communication, and Journal of Advertising Research. Her methodological textbook, The Content Analysis Guidebook, was published by Sage in 2002.
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Address: Department of Psychology,Cleveland State University,Cleveland, OH 44115. Tel: 216-687-2531

Address: Media Arts and Technology Division, School of Communication, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH 44115. Tel: 216-687-3994.


Based on existing theory and research, a framework for the examination of national differences in Website feature appeal is developed. The framework is applied to data collected in five nations (U.S.A., Canada, Austria, Iran, Taiwan). The results confirm the importance, when assessing website appeal cross-nationally, of considering the type of user evaluation (i.e., “elevation” or sheer level of demand for features as a group, “differentiation” or the degree to which features are distinct in the extent to which they are preferred, and “priority” or the relative preference for a feature over others). The approach also highlights the importance of distinguishing between “individual” vs. “societal” level mechanisms when gauging inter-nation differences.