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Cross‐cultural consumer psychology

Aaron Barnes, PhD S. Shavitt
Consumer Psychology Review. December 7, 2018

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Over the last 25 years, cross‐cultural consumer psychology has developed into a well‐researched domain, delivering important insights into how cultural differences influence consumer phenomena. This review synthesizes critical developments in the last decade of research related to the most commonly studied cultural dimensions. First, we describe how cultural differences in individualism and collectivism offer new insights on consumer goal pursuit and self‐regulatory processes. Next, we highlight the role of holistic and analytic thinking in consumer phenomena ranging from pricing to branding. We then describe the horizontal and vertical refinement of individualism and collectivism, and the power distance belief dimension, both of which address cultural orientations toward hierarchy and power. As we describe, these distinctions have implications for important consumer outcomes such as impulse consumption and prosocial behavior. Finally, we look ahead to an emerging cultural distinction, normative tightness–looseness, and bring attention to significant shifts in the practice of cross‐cultural consumer research.

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