The Role of Culture and Gender in Consumer Information Processing Styles: Exploring the Effects on Ad Memory and Attitude

Lufang Meng, University of Minnesota
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - Two information processing styles, relational and item-specific processing, have recently been proposed as an alternative to the magnitude of elaboration to influence consumers’ memory and attitude toward brands and ads (e.g. Bellezza et al. 1977; Bower 1970; Einstein and Hunt 1980; Meyers-Levy 1991). Relational processing is defined as the encoding of similarities or commonalities among discrete items. It is also referred to as organizational processing and can be induced by, for example, showing context-focused pictures, pictures of situations where the product can be used. Item-specific processing, however, focuses on the distinctiveness or uniqueness of each specific item. It is usually regarded as a kind of in-depth processing of single items and can be activated by, for instance, showing pictures of specific product attributes (e.g. Malaviya et al. 1996). This theory also posits that people with increased relational processing often demonstrate better performance in categorization tasks, whereas increased item-specific processing will lead to better performance in recognition tasks. Further, the activation of both processing types is required for optimal recall given the complementary properties of the two.
[ to cite ]:
Lufang Meng (2004) ,"The Role of Culture and Gender in Consumer Information Processing Styles: Exploring the Effects on Ad Memory and Attitude", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 694-695.