Culture is in the “I” of the beholder: Identity confirmation in tourist advertisements

Kirsten Cowan, Nathalie Spielmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Consumers tend to self-confirm; they prefer, search for, and interpret information to confirm their beliefs. For example, consumers who think themselves adventurous will seek out adventure-filled activities. Thus, advertisements that contradict or question consumers' self-identity may be unappealing. The studies herein focus on the nexus of cultural identity (distinct from other identities) and self-confirmation, and examine how consumers evaluate tourism advertisements based on their cultural similarity. The results show that people respond less favorably to tourism ads perceived as incongruent with their identity (Study 1). Yet even when a tourism advertisement is congruent with consumer identity (e.g. Austin ad for U.S. citizens), geographic distance impedes self-confirmation decisions (Study 2). Studies 3 and 4 show that cultural self-identity priming can attenuate the negative effect of distance on consumer evaluations of tourism ads, by either making cultural identity salient or increasing the cultural relevancy of distant ads.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date24 May 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • self confirmation
  • identity
  • cultural identity
  • distance
  • tourism
  • advertising


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