The Role of Cultural Identity and Personal Relevance on Risk Perception and Avoidance

We examine the cultural-similarity effect on consumers’ perception of risk when faced with a health threat. In Study 1, we find that cultural similarity increases people’s risk perceptions when risk is highly likely to occur, but does not have an effect on people’s risk perceptions when the event is less likely to happen. In Studies 2 and 3, we extend our findings to examine how personal relevance moderates these effects by generating defensive message processing. More specifically, we are able to illustrate that the presence of a more personally relevant aspect of one’s identity reverses the effects of cultural similarity.


Sergio Carvalho, Lauren Block, and Subramanian Sivaramakrishnan (2009) ,"The Role of Cultural Identity and Personal Relevance on Risk Perception and Avoidance", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 617-618.


Sergio Carvalho, University of Manitoba, Canada
Lauren Block, Baruch College, USA
Subramanian Sivaramakrishnan, University of Manitoba, Canada


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

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