Self or other: Compatibility between emotion and message referent

Yuanyuan Cai1, Li Pan2, Jiaxun He3
1SILC Business School, Shanghai University, People’s Republic of China
2Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, People’s Republic of China
3School of Business, East China Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Cai, Y., Pan, L., & He, J. (2014). Self or other: Compatibility between emotion and message referent. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 42(9), 1575-1584.

Volume 42 Issue 9 | e3777 | Published: October 2014 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2014.42.9.1575

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We examined how compatibility between the self-/other-relatedness dimension of discrete emotion and the focal referent in advertisements (self or family) influence persuasive effect. We conducted 2 experiments and demonstrated that when respondents are primed with a self-related emotion (e.g., happiness, pride), an advertisement focused on self (vs. family) is more effective at producing a positive product attitude and in stimulating purchase intention. However, when respondents are primed with an other-related emotion (e.g., peacefulness, empathy), a message focused on family (vs. self) is more effective. Findings and theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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