Engaging in a culturally mismatched thinking style increases the preference for familiar consumer options for analytic but not holistic thinkers

Minkyung Koo, Sharon Shavitt, Ashok K. Lalwani, Sydney Chinchanachokchai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Our research examines the likelihood of choosing a well-known brand or product (e.g., global brands, national chain stores) relative to a new one (e.g., niche brands, local stores). Six studies examine the asymmetric consequences of engaging in an analytic or holistic thinking style that mismatches the dominant thinking style associated with one's cultural background. Our studies show that engaging in a culturally mismatched (versus matched) thinking style enhances the subsequent appeal of familiar consumer options and the likelihood of choosing them when making consumer decisions. However, this effect is observed only for those with a dominant analytic thinking style, not for those with a dominant holistic thinking style. This asymmetry emerges because analytic thinking is characterized by a greater intolerance of incongruity such that a mismatched experience is likely to be less well tolerated by analytic than holistic thinkers. Our studies suggest that this asymmetric effect on the preferences for familiar options is driven by a motivation to reduce psychological discomfort associated with a mismatched experience. The findings highlight the importance of understanding the effects of matched/mismatched thinking experiences on audiences of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Research in Marketing
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Brand loyalty
  • Brand switching
  • Culture
  • Familiarity seeking
  • Thinking styles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Engaging in a culturally mismatched thinking style increases the preference for familiar consumer options for analytic but not holistic thinkers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this