You get what you pay for? Self-construal influences price-quality judgments

Ashok K. Lalwani, Sharon Shavitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How does cultural self-construal influence consumers' tendency to use price to judge quality? Seven experiments designed to address this question revealed that people with a more interdependent (vs. independent) cultural self-construal-operationalized by ethnicity, nationality, measured self-construal, or manipulated salient self-construal-have a greater tendency to use price information to judge quality. This difference arises because interdependents tend to be holistic (vs. analytic) thinkers who are more likely to perceive interrelations between the elements of a product. These effects were observed regardless of whether the pricequality relation was assessed with a standard self-report scale or via actual product judgments, and whether thinking style was measured or manipulated. However, cultural differences only emerged in situations that afforded interdependents (vs. independents) a relational processing advantage. These findings shed light on the mechanisms underlying the effects and identify novel boundary conditions for the influence of self-construal and thinking style on consumer judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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