Cross-Cultural Differences in the Effects of Abstract and Concrete Thinking on Imagery Generation and Ad Persuasion

Document Type


Publication Date



This study examines the effect of culture on imagery generation and ad attitudes. Although research suggests that concrete stimuli generate more images than abstract stimuli, our study shows that this finding is not universal across cultures. Chinese generate more imagery than Americans when encountering abstract stimuli because Chinese tend to think concretely. Moreover, Chinese and Americans have different attitudes toward different stimuli. While Chinese prefer concrete stimuli to abstract stimuli, Americans have the same attitudes toward concrete and abstract stimuli.