Graduation Year

2017

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Reader 1

Michael Spezio

Reader 2

Stacey Wood

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© 2016 Chloe Wei

Abstract

With a growing multilingual global population, it is becoming increasingly important to know how people of varying cultures respond to persuasive appeals. Cross-cultural studies on persuasion have found differences in American and Chinese advertisements that reflect individualistic and collectivist cultural values. However, these studies have ignored the possible effect of language, despite research showing that language can activate specific cultural ideas and behaviors in bilingual individuals. Additionally, differences have been found in thinking and emotionality in the native (L1) versus the non-native language (L2), that seem to parallel the central and peripheral routes of elaboration in persuasion. Therefore, the proposed study will explore relationship between culture, language and attitude change. In stage 1, participants will report their initial attitudes towards the topics of air travel and nuclear power and their L1 preference. In stage 2, participants will read 2 stories that contain a cultural prime (magpie/red light from a lantern) with contrasting cultural association in American and Chinese culture and fictional scenarios about air travel and nuclear power. Participants will report their attitudes after reading the stories and attitude change will be examined. Two possible outcomes for main effects and interactions between Linguistic/Cultural association and L1 preference on the dependent variable of attitude change will be explored with the intent of discovering which processes are dominant in the bilingual brain.

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