The Role of Horizontal and Vertical Individualism and Collectivism in Online Consumers’ Responses Toward Persuasive Communication on the Web

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Abstract

The traditional conceptualization of individualism and collectivism as ideas on opposite ends of a dichotomous continuum is limited and in need of better formulation. This study tested Triandis’ horizontal and vertical individualism and collectivism typology for its ability to detect differences in Web users’ cultural orientations within an individualistic culture, and examined the role of these cultural orientations in people’s media use, Web skills and challenges, and attitude toward Web advertising. Findings from an online survey among Web users suggest that these types of cultural orientations impacted people’s perceived Web skills and their attitudes toward Web advertising in both general and specific ways. Suggestions are advanced for future research to better understand the influence of cultural orientations on consumer response toward computer-mediated communication.

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