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Countering negative country of origin effects using imagery processing

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A favorable product country of origin (e.g., an automobile made in Germany) is often considered an asset by marketers. Yet a challenge in today's competitive environment is how marketers of products from less favorably regarded countries can counter negative country of origin perceptions. Three studies investigate how mental imagery can be used to reduce the effects of negative country of origin stereotypes. Study 1 reveals that participants exposed to country of origin information exhibit automatic stereotype activation. Study 2 shows that self-focused counterstereotypical mental imagery (relative to other-focused mental imagery) significantly inhibits the automatic activation of negative country of origin stereotypes. Study 3 shows that this lessening of automatic negative associations persists when measured one day later. The results offer important implications for marketing theory and practice. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Martin, Brett, Lee, Michael Shyue Wai, & Lacey, Charlotte (2011) Counter-
ing negative country of origin effects using imagery processing. Journal of
Consumer Behaviour,10(2), pp. 80-92.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cb.351
Countering Negative Country of Origin Perceptions with Mental Imagery
Brett A. S. Martin
QUT Business School
Email: brett.martin@qut.edu.au
Michael Shyue Wai Lee
University of Auckland Business School
and
Charlotte Lacey
University of Auckland Business School
2
Abstract
A favorable product country of origin (e.g., an automobile made in Germany) is often considered an
asset by marketers. Yet a challenge in today’s competitive environment is how marketers of products
from less favorably regarded countries can counter negative country of origin perceptions. Three
studies investigate how mental imagery can be used to reduce the effects of negative country of origin
stereotypes. Study 1 reveals that participants exposed to country of origin information exhibit
automatic stereotype activation. Study 2 shows that self-focused counterstereotypical mental imagery
(relative to other-focused mental imagery) significantly inhibits the automatic activation of negative
country of origin stereotypes. Study 3 shows that this lessening of automatic negative associations
persists when measured one day later. The results offer important implications for marketing theory
and practice.
Key words. Country of origin, mental imagery, stereotypes, implicit association test.
3
Countering Negative Country of Origin Perceptions with Mental Imagery
Consider David, who is looking to buy a new television. When reading the newspaper, David notices
two advertisements for televisions: one produced by a Korean manufacturer, and the other for a
Japanese manufacturer. From David’s viewpoint, Japanese electronics are high quality goods, and
generally superior to Korean products. This scenario illustrates one way in which consumers can use
country of origin (CO) information. Indeed, for electronic goods, empirical research suggests a
Japanese CO is regarded by some consumers as superior to a Korean CO (Gürhan-Canli &
Maheswaran, 2000a). Thus, from a marketer’s perspective, sellers of the Korean product have the
challenge of how to counter David’s negative CO perceptions. This issue is relevant and timely for
managers operating in today’s competitive market. A recent survey of 2,000 adults revealed that CO
represents an important attribute for purchasers of automobiles (Chicago Tribune, 2007). Further,
recent media coverage has raised concerns over products from countries with a negative CO perception
(Carey, 2007; Greenlees, 2008).
While considerable research in marketing has focused on the influence of CO (e.g., Batra et al.,
2000; Gürhan-Canli & Maheswaran, 2000a, 2000b; Hong & Wyer, 1989; Maheswaran, 1994), less
work has focused on how products from countries with a perceived weaker quality can counteract these
effects. Our study addresses this issue and provides managers with a proactive, tangible way of
counteracting negative CO perceptions. We adopt a stereotyping perspective which provides insight
into the automatic activation of negative stereotypes. Specifically, CO can be viewed as a stereotype
(Maheswaran, 1994), which consumers can use as a proxy for product quality. Research suggests that
stereotype activation is an unconscious, automatic process that results in stereotypic thoughts being
more accessible in memory (Devine, 1989). Thus, mere exposure to negative stereotypic information
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may result in biased judgments (Devine, 1989; Greenwald & Banaji, 1995). Yet to date, the automatic
process of negative stereotype activation and how it may be countered has been relatively neglected in
marketing. An increasing interest in the influence of automatic processes in consumer behavior (Bargh,
2002; Brunel, Tietje & Greenwald, 2004), stereotypes (Pechmann & Knight, 2002), and the use of
imagery-evoking strategies (Escalas, 2004; Shiv & Huber, 2000) makes this gap even more important.
In three experiments, we test the premise that the controlled process of evoking positive mental
imagery leads to a significant reduction of the effects of negative CO stereotypes. Study 1 shows that
exposure to CO information results in the automatic activation of CO stereotypes. Study 2
demonstrates how the evoking of positive self-focused mental imagery (relative to other-focused
mental imagery) reduces the impact of CO stereotypes on consumer judgments. Study 3 assesses the
durability of these effects. Specifically, we replicate Study 2, and show how this pattern of results is
evident one day later.
BACKGROUND
Country of Origin
CO effects are defined as “the extent to which the place of manufacture influences product
evaluations” (Gürhan-Canli & Maheswaran, 2000b, p. 309). CO is an intangible, extrinsic product cue
often communicated by the phrase “made in ____” (Peterson & Jolibert, 1995). For example, an
automobile made in Germany. As such, it is distinct from intrinsic cues which directly affect product
performance (e.g., the size and power of an automobile’s engine). In terms of marketing practice, CO is
widely used by marketers. Methods include embedding CO into the brand name (e.g., L’Oréal Paris),
slogan (e.g., Singapore Airlines “Singapore Girl”), having a brand name in the language of the
product’s country of origin (e.g., Yves Saint Laurent), and/or the use of pictorial elements (e.g., Evian
Spring Water uses images of French mountains in their advertising).
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From a research perspective, CO effects have generated substantial interest from scholars.
Much of this work has examined how CO can influence product evaluations. For example, Peterson
and Jolibert (1995) in a meta-analysis of the CO literature revealed that the average effect size for
quality/reliability perceptions was .30, and for purchase intentions the average effect size was .19.
Their measure of effect size was omega-squared which results in a value between .00 and 1.00, with
larger numbers indicating a higher level of explained variance. Likewise, in another meta-analysis,
Verlegh and Steenkamp (1999) found the largest CO effect sizes for quality perceptions, as compared
with attitudes and purchase intentions. These studies suggest that a favorable CO can influence the
quality perception of a product.
Yet despite this influence, the criticism has been raised that the mechanisms underlying CO
effects are not well understood (Gürhan-Canli & Maheswaran, 2000a). Indeed, Li and Wyer (1994, p.
210) state that a complete understanding of these cognitive processes is likely to remain elusive,
because of the complexity of CO effects. However, an important development in this area was the
viewing of CO as a stereotype. Maheswaran (1994) argued that CO represents stereotypical
information, and that novices rely on the CO stereotype when making judgments. He found that
novices focus on CO to guide their new product evaluations, rather than engaging in detailed attribute
processing. In contrast, experts rely on CO information when attribute information is ambiguous. More
recently, research has suggested that consumers are particularly likely to focus on CO information
under conditions of low motivation, where CO offers a stereotype heuristic for evaluations (Gürhan-
Canli & Maheswaran, 2000a; Verlegh, Steenkamp & Meulenberg, 2005). In summary, previous
research suggests that CO has an effect on quality perceptions and purchase intentions, and can be
usefully viewed as a stereotype which can influence consumer evaluations. The current research builds
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on this previous work of CO as a stereotype by integrating literature on the dual-processing approach
to stereotype activation and application.
Stereotypes: Automatic and Controlled Processes
Considerable research in social psychology has focused on understanding how stereotypes can
influence social judgments and result in biased thought. Stereotypes are defined as “a socially shared
set of beliefs about traits that are characteristic of members of a social category” (Greenwald & Banaji,
1995, p. 14). In other words, stereotypes relate to characteristics that are associated with members of a
social category (Kunda, 1999). The stereotyping literature in psychology draws a distinction between
two types of processes: automatic processes and controlled processes (Blair & Banaji, 1996). In
essence, this view suggests that a stereotype represents information that has to be activated before it
can be used in judgments. Central to this view, is the notion that stereotypes are activated automatically
as a result of exposure to the stereotypical object in the environment. Mere exposure to a stereotypical
cue triggers the activation of stereotypical associations in memory. This activation occurs in an
effortless fashion, outside of conscious awareness. This view that stereotyping operates automatically
appears widely accepted (e.g., Banaji & Harden, 1996; Greenwald & Banaji, 1995), although some
researchers have argued that stereotype activation requires the availability of cognitive resources to
occur (e.g., Gilbert & Hixon, 1991). In the context of this research, automatic activation involves
stereotypical CO associations that are activated by exposure to a CO cue.
Given this automatic activation, research has addressed how stereotypic associations can be
subject to conscious control (i.e., controlled processes) as a means to debias thought. In discussing this
issue, many theorists distinguish between stereotype activation and application. Activation involves the
automatic priming of stereotypical associations in memory, whereas stereotype application refers to
using stereotypes in evaluations and perceptions (Kawakami et al., 2000). Thus, whereas stereotype
7
activation is considered an automatic process, stereotype application involves a controllable process
(Blair & Banaji, 1996), where an individual can exercise some degree of conscious control. For
example, Devine (1989) in a study of stereotypes and prejudice, found that both high- and low-
prejudice individuals exhibit automatic stereotype activation when their ability to consciously monitor
stereotype activation is prevented. Yet under conditions that allow for conscious control, low-prejudice
individuals attempt to inhibit stereotypic responses to present nonprejudiced responses, even when
their responses are anonymous. Devine interprets these results as evidence of a conscious process used
by individuals where their personal beliefs are incongruent with an activated stereotype.
This notion of a controlled strategy to debias thought from stereotyping has received attention
in social psychology with an interesting stream of research exploring techniques that can be used. For
example, studies have explored the use of extensive training sessions (e.g., Kawakami et al., 2000) and
counterstereotypical video clips, photos and information (e.g., Dasgupta & Greenwald, 2001;
Wigboldus, Dijksterhuis & Knippenberg, 2003; Wittenbrink, Judd & Park, 2001). These studies
suggest that automatic stereotyping responses can be temporarily modified by priming
counterstereotypical associations.
While prior research in social psychology has addressed imagery and the debiasing of
automatic stereotyping it has adopted a person-focus, and has not been extended to marketing. In
addition, the durability of imagery effects upon stereotype activation remain unexplored. We anticipate
that the evoking of mental imagery that portrays a CO in a positive light will lessen the impact of
negative stereotyping activated by a CO cue. We propose that this effect will be evident where mental
imagery is self-focused rather than other-focused. Next, we examine mental imagery.
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Mental Imagery
Mental imagery is defined as a process by which sensory information is represented in working
memory, which can range from low-elaboration mental pictures to more highly elaborated daydreams
and visual problem-solving (MacInnis & Price, 1987). Research on imagery has enjoyed substantial
attention from scholars in marketing (e.g., Bone & Ellen, 1992; Escalas, 2004; Anand-Keller & Block,
1997; Anand-Keller & McGill, 1994; McGill & Anand, 1989; Shiv & Huber, 2000; Unnava, Agarwal
& Haugtvedt, 1996; Unnava & Burnkrant, 1991).
An assumption in our research is that imagery-evoking is a conscious process which requires
cognitive resources. Consistent with this reasoning, research indicates that imagery-processing requires
cognitive resources (McGill & Anand, 1989; Unnava, Agarwal & Haugvedt, 1996), and that imagery
effects are maximized when cognitive resources are at moderate levels (Anand-Keller & Block, 1997).
This research stream suggests two theories which have attracted attention - differential attention
and the availability-valence hypothesis. Differential attention suggests that vivid information attracts
greater attention than nonvivid information when attentional resources are limited. Yet when
individuals can pay detailed attention to information, no vividness differences should be evident. Thus,
the differential attention perspective relates to situations where vivid and nonvivid elements of a
message vie for an individual’s attention (McGill & Anand, 1989). Yet this theory is silent about how
the evoking of imagery should affect an individual’s subsequent automatic associations.
Another theory used to explain vividness effects that lies closer to our study, is the availability-
valence hypothesis (Kisielius & Sternthal, 1984). This theory suggests that the influence of imagery
depends on (1) the accessibility of associations and (2) the valence of these associations. Thus from
this perspective, if associations are accessible and positive in valence, imagery should have a positive
effect on judgments.
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Kisielius and Sternthal (1984, 1986) studied the role of cognitive elaboration as a means by
which information - particularly vivid information - becomes accessible in memory (see Feldman &
Lynch, 1988 for a summary of other factors influencing accessibility such as retrieval cues). This
notion of accessibility is relevant since theorists have argued that imagery vividness depends on an
individual’s level of knowledge (MacInnis & Price, 1987). This implies that imagery-processing draws
upon accessible associations from memory. Likewise, stereotyping research suggests that information
accessibility determines which elements of a stereotype are likely to be automatically activated
(Kawakami et al., 2000). Consequently, theory on information accessibility is relevant to this research.
To this end, Feldman and Lynch (1988) suggest that the likelihood that an association will be
used in judgments depends on how accessible that association is, how accessible alternative
associations are, and the diagnostic value of these respective associations. In the context of our
research, we propose that CO imagery-processing should make these CO associations which a
consumer is thinking of salient over other alternative associations. Previous imagery research offers
some support for this view. For example, imagining an event has been found to increase the perceived
likelihood that the event will occur (MacInnis & Price, 1987). Relatedly, past stereotyping research
indicates that priming counterstereotypical associations can reduce the salience of stereotypical
associations for subsequent judgments (Blair & Banaji, 1996). Thus, imagining positive CO imagery
should result in the heightened accessibility of these associations in memory. Next, we present our
hypotheses.
HYPOTHESES
Automatic Activation of Country of Origin Stereotypes
As mentioned, research indicates that stereotype activation is an automatic process (Devine, 1989;
Greenwald & Banaji, 1995). Research has recognized CO as a stereotype (Maheswaran, 1994)
10
and preliminary support for automatic CO effects have been found by Liu and Johnson (2005).
However, given our assumption that CO stereotype activation is automatic when individuals are
exposed to a CO stereotype cue, and that no research in this area has used the Implicit Association Test
which we adopt, we felt it necessary to test this issue. More specifically, we hypothesize:
H1: Exposure to a country of origin cue will result in individuals demonstrating the automatic
activation of country of origin stereotypes.
Effects of Self-focused and Other-focused Imagery on Country of Origin Stereotype Activation
We suggest that evoking self-focused positive mental imagery will weaken the effects of subsequent
automatic negative stereotyping. Specifically, individuals who evoke self-focused imagery should
show a greater reduction of negative stereotyping than those who engage in other-focused imagery.
Regarding this self-other distinction, previous research suggests that when individuals process self-
relevant information, they will engage in self-referencing (Burnkrant & Unnava, 1995). Self-
referencing represents a processing strategy where a person processes information by relating a
message to his or her own self structure (Burnkrant & Unnava, 1995), and has been found to result in
increased elaboration (e.g., Burnkrant & Unnava, 1995; Meyers-Levy & Peracchio, 1996). Consistent
with this view, Markus (1977) suggests that self-relevant information encourages elaboration, owing to
the rich associative structure of the self. Further, a meta-analysis by Symons and Johnson (1997)
suggests that the self as a construct promotes elaboration and facilitates the recall of encoded
information owing to its well learned nature and rich network of associations. In addition to
elaboration, self-referencing research suggests that the positive affect associated with the self is
transferred to message information if the audience perceives a link between their self-structures and the
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information (Sujan, Bettman & Baumgartner, 1993). Thus, we could expect self-focused positive
mental imagery to be encoded more positively than other-focused mental imagery.
Likewise, we expect that self-focused CO imagery (e.g., where an individual imagines
themselves owning a CO product) should be more effective in weakening subsequent automatic
stereotyping owing the richer associative links that exist in memory regarding the self. In contrast,
other-focused imagery (e.g., imagining a member of the public using a CO product) should be less
effective at weakening CO stereotypes as associative links are fewer. In support of this view, imagery
research suggests that a self-focus can result in differential imagery effects. Bone and Ellen (1992)
found greater imagery vividness and quantity when consumers imagined themselves as the focal
character in an ad, rather than other people. Thus, we posit that the greater elaboration of self-focused
imagery should result in the heightened accessibility of positive CO associations. With automatic
stereotyping dependent on accessibility (Kawakami et al., 2000), and given that the most accessible
cognition is used in a judgment (Feldman & Lynch, 1988) and that automatic stereotyping can be
temporarily modified (Dasgupta & Greenwald, 2001) we hypothesize,
H2: Individuals who evoke self-focused counterstereotypical country of origin mental
imagery will exhibit less automatic activation of negative country of origin stereotypes
than individuals in the other-focused imagery, neutral imagery or stereotypical country
of origin imagery conditions.
Research has identified a link between CO product evaluations and purchase intentions. For instance,
Roth and Romeo (1992) assert that consumers will be more willing to buy a product from a country
with a positive image where this image is important to the product category. Hence, this research
posits that the automatic activation of CO stereotypes will shape consumers preferences and drive
purchase behavior. Further, we expect evaluations and purchase intentions to be higher for self-related
imagery processing (MacInnis & Price, 1987; Bone & Ellen, 1992). Further to hypothesis two,
12
engaging in counterstereotypical imagery processing should create positive associations in memory
with products from the unfavorable country of origin. This should result in more favorable evaluations
than would be exhibited after engaging in stereotypical processing for products from an unfavorable
country of origin.
H3: Individuals who evoke positive self-focused counterstereotypical country of origin
imagery will exhibit more favorable evaluations and purchase intention than individuals
than individuals in the other-focused imagery, neutral imagery or stereotypical country
of origin imagery conditions for the negative country of origin product.
Durability of Imagery Effects on Automatic Stereotype Activation
Given that no previous marketing research has examined imagery-evoking effects on CO stereotype
activation, a replication of the experiment for hypothesis two is useful. Replication allows for more
compelling results than a sole study (Sawyer & Peter, 1983). In addition, calls have been made for
research which explores the durability of CO effects over time (Gürhan-Canli & Maheswaran, 2000a).
Thus, hypothesis 4 is a replication of hypothesis 2 with a delay condition to assess the effects of
positive CO imagery-evoking over time. In other words, does the weakening of automatic negative CO
associations that we anticipate to occur for hypothesis 2, endure? Or is it simply a transient effect?
Hypothesis 2 suggests that the self-focused imagery condition will prove most effective to
reducing subsequent automatic CO stereotyping. We expect that self-focused imagery should result in a
more persistent effect over time than the use of other-focused imagery. Since self-referencing has been
shown to result in greater elaboration (Burnkrant & Unnava, 1995; Meyers-Levy & Peracchio, 1996),
and memory traces are enduring over time when they result from effortful processing (Craik &
Lockhart, 1972), the associations of self-focused imagery should be more accessible than the
associations created by other-focused imagery. Irrespective of whether it is the richer encoding of self-
13
related information at encoding or the easier accessibility of self-related associations, the self-focus
imagery strategy should result in more durable effects than the other strategies. Since memory traces
resulting from more elaboration are more stable over time and likely to remain accessible (Craik &
Lockhart, 1972), the differences for automatic associations (hypothesis 4) should result in more durable
effects for differences in evaluations. Thus, we hypothesize,
H4: The differences in automatic associations specified in H2 for self-focused
counterstereotypical imagery-processing conditions persist over time to a greater extent
than differences for other imagery-processing conditions.
H5: The differences in evaluations specified in H3 for self-focused counterstereotypical
imagery-processing conditions persist over time to a greater extent than differences for
other imagery-processing conditions.
In the next section we describe Study 1, we test whether exposure to a CO cue results in the automatic
activation of CO stereotypes (i.e., hypothesis 1). Then we describe the results of two subsequent
experiments that were designed to test the influence of imagery on the automatic activation of CO
stereotypes. In Study 2, we explore how positive imagery can weaken the automatic activation of
negative CO stereotypes (hypothesis 2) and enhance evaluations (hypothesis 3). In Study 3, we
replicate the second experiment to test whether the effects of evoking positive mental imagery are
sufficiently strong to persist over time (hypotheses 4 and 5).
STUDY 1: AUTOMATIC ACTIVATION OF COUNTRY OF ORIGIN STEREOTYPES
Overview and Design
The objective of Study 1 is to determine if exposure to CO information results in the automatic
activation of CO stereotypes. Forty-eight undergraduate students volunteered to participate in the
study and were randomly assigned to one of the experimental conditions. A 2 (country of origin cue:
14
Germany, Poland) x 2 (IAT task order: consistent task first, inconsistent task first) mixed design was
used with country of origin as a within-subjects factor.
Pretest: Product Selection. Digital cameras were chosen as the product category based on the
following criteria: (1) Familiarity. Participants had to be familiar enough with the product to make
sense of the information and avoid nonsense responses (Homer & Yoon, 1992). (2) Attributes. The
product had to have a series of attributes in order to test for attribute quality. (3) Commercial Success.
Digital cameras represent a relevant product given their global success. For example, global digital
camera sales are expected to grow to $31 billion (19.8 billion €) in 2009 (Raymond, 2004). (4) CO
Relevance. CO has been noted as an important attribute for consumers purchasing electronics (Light &
Tilsner, 1994). (5) Equal Gender Relevance. Pretesting showed that digital cameras did not differ in
product involvement levels between males and females.
Pretest: Country of Origin Selection. Thirty participants rated ten European countries for familiarity
(1 = not at all familiar, 7 = extremely familiar from Gürhan-Canli & Maheswaran 2000a) and the
favorability of buying a digital camera from one of the countries listed (1 = unfavorable, 7 = favorable
from Brucks, 1985). The countries that received the highest and lowest means respectively were
Germany (familiarity: M = 5.43; favorability: M = 5.46) and Poland (familiarity: M = 4.23;
favorability: M = 3.23, ps < .01). Thus, Germany and Poland were chosen as the two CO cues for the
main study. These results are supported by research indicating that Germany has a positive CO image
(Gürhan-Canli & Maheswaran, 2000a; Hsich, 2004) whereas Poland has a relatively unfavorable CO
image (Frear, Alguire & Metcalf, 1995; Hsich, 2004).
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Implicit Association Test
For the main study we used the implicit association test (IAT; Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz,
1998). In addition to recent research in marketing, the IAT has been used in almost all disciplines of
psychology and has shown greater reliability than alternative implicit measures (Hofmann et al., 2005).
The IAT is a response-latency measure that involves participants categorizing combinations of words
by clicking one of two keys. Responses should be faster when two associated concepts share the same
response key (i.e., a consistent task) than when these items share a different response key (inconsistent
task). Thus, individuals should respond faster when two concepts are associated in memory (e.g.,
flowers and pleasant) rather than when the concepts are unrelated or dissimilar (e.g., insects and
pleasant). Consequently, an implicit stereotype is indicated when participants respond relatively faster
to a stereotype-consistent task than a stereotype-inconsistent task (see Brunel, Tietje, & Greenwald,
2004 for discussions of the IAT in a marketing context).
For this research, stereotype consistent categories were “made in Germany” and “self”; “made
in Poland” and “other.” Stereotype inconsistent categories were “made in Germany” and “other”;
“made in Poland” and “self.” Ten words were selected from previous IAT research (Greenwald &
Farnham, 2000; Greenwald et al., 2002) to represent the self-other category (self: I, me, my, mine and
self, other: they, them, their, theirs and other). Twelve images of digital cameras specified as made in
Germany or made in Poland were used for the CO contrast with only one camera displayed for
categorization at any one time (see Appendix 1).
Explicit Measures
In addition to the IAT, explicit measures for CO evaluation, purchase intention and feeling
thermometers were used to provide additional insight into the automatic activation of stereotypes.
16
Country of origin evaluation was assessed on three items (positive-negative, very favorable-not at all
favorable, good-bad, αGermany = .95, αPoland = .96) from Gürhan-Canli and Maheswaran (2000a).
Purchase intention was measured on two items (likely-unlikely, probable-improbable, rGermany = .76,
rPoland = .88) from Miniard et al. (1991). Feeling thermometers are an explicit measure used with the
IAT (Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998; Dasgupta & Greenwald, 2001). Participants chose a
specific ‘temperature’ on two thermometer scales regarding feelings about digital cameras made in
Germany and Poland respectively (0˚ cold or unfavorable - 50˚ neutral - 99˚ warm or favorable).
Results and Discussion
Findings on Implicit Measures. Following the procedures of Greenwald, McGhee, and Schwartz
(1998), response latencies below 300 milliseconds (ms) were recoded as 300 ms, and those above 3000
ms were recoded as 3000 ms1. Although some IAT research uses log transformations, the implicit
measure data was not skewed suggesting a transformation was unnecessary (see Karpinski & Hilton,
2001 for a similar approach), thus the IAT scores we report are mean latency scores in milliseconds.
The IAT Effect was calculated by subtracting the stereotype-consistent task mean (Germany and Self
categorized on the same response key; Poland and Other) from the stereotype-inconsistent task mean
(Germany and Other; Poland and Self). We expect people will respond faster to a stereotype-consistent
task. Consistent with expectations, as displayed in Figure 1, results reveal an IAT Effect of 116.65
milliseconds indicating a more positive associations towards a German CO compared to a Polish CO
(MPoland = 958.60 ms, MGermany = 841.95 ms, t(47) = 4.38, p < .001). No order effects were evident (p >
.64).
[Insert Figure 1]
1 Recoding latencies also allows the researcher to account for participant’s cognitive fluency, task-switching
ability, outliers and age, since response latency scores of participants who perform the overall tasks more slowly
than other participants produce larger IAT effects than participants who perform the tasks more quickly
(McFarland & Crouch, 2002).
17
Findings on Explicit Measures. Consistent with expectations, cameras made in Germany resulted in
more favorable CO evaluations (MGermany = 5.13, versus MPoland = 3.74, F (1, 47) = 49.59, p < .001). A
German CO also resulted in a more favorable purchase intention (MGermany = 4.05 versus MPoland = 2.92,
F (1, 47) = 42.23, p < .001) and more favorable feeling thermometer scores (MGermany = 65.81 versus
MPoland = 46.25, F (1, 47) = 60.45, p < .001). These findings provide additional support for hypothesis
1.
The results of Study 1 suggest that CO cues suggest an implicit preference for digital cameras
made in Germany compared to cameras made in Poland. Thus, the findings of the IAT indicate CO
stereotype activation is an automatic process. Further, the valence of these stereotypes is reflected in
the explicit measures where the results reveal a significantly higher preference for German rather than
Polish cameras.
STUDY 2: POSITIVE IMAGERY AS A STEREOTYPE INHIBITOR
Overview and Design
Study 2 examines whether the evoking of mental imagery by consumers can weaken the effect of
negative CO stereotyping. We examine how counterstereotypical imagery can reduce the automatic
activation of negative CO stereotypes (hypothesis two) and result in more favorable evaluations
(hypothesis three). The study was a 3 (Imagery type: stereotypical, counterstereotypical, neutral) x 2
(Imagery focus: self, other) x 2 (IAT task order: consistent task first, inconsistent task first) between-
subjects experiment.
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Participants and Procedure
A total of 352 undergraduate students from the same participant pool as Study 1 participated in the
study. The measures were identical to Study 1 (CO evaluation: αGermany = .94, αPoland = .96, purchase
intention: rGermany = .85, rPoland = .91). In addition, knowledge was measured as a potential covariate
given research which suggests that experts and novices can differ in how they use CO information
(Maheswaran, 1994). Further, novices have been found to be more influenced by stereotypes than
experts (Sujan, 1985; Alba & Hutchinson, 1987). Hence, knowledge was measured as a covariate on
four 7-point items (know very much-know very little, experienced-inexperienced, informed-
uninformed, expert-novice, α = .96) from Mishra, Umesh and Stem (1993)2.
Method
Mental Imagery Stimuli. Participants were exposed to one of the mental imagery conditions prior to
completing the IAT in the same manner as in Study 1. Mental imagery was manipulated using a written
scenario which began with an explicit instruction to imagine (MacInnis & Price, 1987). The
stereotypical imagery manipulation featured a description of a digital camera purchase and looked at
attributes and uses for the camera (pretesting showed that these attributes were considered realistic and
important by students). The counterstereotypical imagery condition featured the same scenario but for a
camera made in Poland. Appendix 2 shows examples of the stereotypical and countersterotypical
imagery manipulations. A neutral imagery condition was also included as a baseline imagery condition
where participants imagined a vacation in Hawaii where they walk on the beach and consider features
of the vacation such as viewing scenery and shopping.
2 Given research suggesting that the relationship IAT scores are sensitive to the self-presentation concerns of
participants (Czellar, 2006), self-monitoring was measured as a potential covariate using the 18-item scale of
19
Imagery Focus. Imagery focus was manipulated with the scenario focusing on the participant for the
self-focused imagery and on “other consumers” for the other-focused imagery. Further, second person
wording was used for the self-focused imagery conditions (e.g., “You also notice that . . .”) and third
person wording for the other-focused imagery conditions (e.g., “They also notice that . . .”). Second
person wording was used based upon research that has found that people are more likely to self-
reference material written in the second person than material written in the first or third person
(Burnkrant & Unnava, 1995). Conversely, third person wording was used for other-focused mental
imagery as it has been found to be a more abstract form of story telling and less likely to promote self-
referencing (Burnkrant & Unnava, 1989). Appendix 2 shows an example of self-focused and other-
focused imagery manipulations3.
Results and Discussion
Manipulation and Confound Checks. Participants rated the extent to which the message made them
think about “yourself” or “others” on two separate thermometer scales (0˚ cold - 50˚ neutral - 99˚
warm). Participants in the self-focus imagery condition (M = 77.81) reported having significantly more
self-related thoughts than those in the other-focus condition (M = 73.79, F(1, 350) = 3.61, p < .05). In
contrast, participants in the other-focus imagery condition (M = 70.55) reported having significantly
more other-related thoughts than those in the self-focus condition (M = 64.00, F(1, 350) = 11.87, p =
.001). Thus, these manipulation checks suggest that imagery focus was manipulated successfully.
Snyder and Gangestad (1986, α = .64). However, since self-monitoring failed assumption checks for use as a
covariate and yielded no insights it was excluded from further analysis.
3 Research suggests that adding pictures to high imagery information provides no additional influence on the
respondents’ ability to recall the information contained in an advertisement (Unnava & Burnkrant, 1991), thus it
was decided not to include any pictures to accompany the mental imagery employed in this study. Further, in the
other-focused imagery conditions, the term “other consumers” was used. Actual names (e.g., Jane) were not used
in the other-focused imagery to avoid gender bias and reduce the possibility of extraneous thoughts.
20
In addition, we measured message believability on two scales (highly believable-not at all
believable, totally acceptable-not at all acceptable, r = .70) adapted from Gürhan-Canli and
Maheswaran (2000a). We averaged these scales to create a message believability index. An ANOVA
on the confound check measure showed no significant differences (ps > .14) suggesting that the
messages did not differ in terms of perceived believability.
Hypothesis Testing. Data was recoded as in Study 1 (Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998). We
expected exposure to counterstereotypical mental imagery will result in a weakening of automatic CO
stereotyping.
Findings on Implicit Measures. For H2, an ANOVA on the IAT effect revealed a significant
Imagery x Imagery focus interaction for the IAT effect (F(2, 346) = 4.62, p < .05)4. Means are shown
in Table 1. Follow-up contrasts were consistent with H1. Participants primed with
counterstereotypical-self imagery exhibited the strongest reduction in stereotype with a negative IAT
effect of -33.46 ms (p < .05, Table 1). This suggests that participants had a stronger association towards
Poland-self rather than Poland-other. In contrast, participants exposed to the stereotypical self-focused
imagery revealed an expected positive IAT effect reflecting a stereotypical stronger association
towards a Germany-self association (M = 121.38, p < .001). Indeed for other conditions (stereotypical
imagery and neutral imagery), a positive IAT effect was evident which suggests a negative Polish CO
stereotype. Thus, H2 is supported.
[Insert Table 1]
4 Knowledge was not used a covariate for analysis of the implicit measures as it was not correlated with IAT
(Study 1: r = .03, p = .52, Study 2: r = -.14, p = .13).
21
Findings on Explicit Measures. For H3,we subtracted Germany ratings from Polish ratings for
each explicit measure. A MANCOVA with knowledge as a covariate found no significant interactions
for any of the dependent measures. An Imagery x Imagery focus interaction was significant for
purchase intentions (F(2, 345) = 2.87, p = .05). However although the mean differences were in the
expected directions these results were not supported by the planned contrasts between imagery focus
conditions (p > .06). Yet imagery seems to have an effect independent of imagery focus as
demonstrated by a main effect for imagery on feeling thermometer scores (F(2, 345) = 25.95, p < .001),
CO evaluations (F(2, 345) = 11.70, p < .001) and purchase intentions (F(2, 345) = 8.11, p < .001). As
shown in Table 2, the difference scores between ratings for German and Polish CO for each dependent
variable reveal that stereotypical imagery results in a preference for German CO (Feeling thermometer
M = 22.52, CO evaluation M = 1.18, Purchase intention M = .87). Yet exposure to counterstereotypical
imagery reduces this relative difference by 94.54% for feeling thermometer scores (M = 1.23 vs.
22.52), by 66.95% for CO evaluations (M = .39 vs. 1.18), and by 78.16% for purchase intentions (M =
.19 vs. .87). Thus, given the consistent influence of imagery H3 is partially supported.
[Insert Table 2]
Relationship between Implicit and Explicit Measures. Following prior research (e.g., Dasgupta &
Greenwald, 2001; Karpinski & Hilton, 2001) we also examined if the IAT correlates with the explicit
measures. To this end, we subtracted Germany ratings from Polish ratings for each explicit measure to
compare with the IAT effect variable. As displayed in Table 3, the IAT was positively correlated with
feeling thermometer ratings (r = .13, p < .05) and CO evaluations (r = .11, p < .05) but not purchase
intentions (r = .09, p = .07).
[Insert Table 3]
22
Overall, the results suggest that counterstereotypical mental imagery could be a useful marketing tactic.
However this conclusion would be enhanced if we can show that it is a durable effect. Thus, in Study 3
we study the effect of counterstereotypical imagery after a temporal delay.
STUDY 3: DURABILITY OF IMAGERY-EVOKING EFFECTS
Overview and Method
The objective of Study 3 is to examine the durability of the effects found in Study 2 by replicating the
study with the inclusion of a delayed measure of implicit CO stereotypes. Thus, we replicated Study 2
but with a 24 hour delay between the imagery manipulation and administering the IAT and dependent
measures. We also included a control group to compare responses with no imagery manipulation with
the data from the delayed measures.
Participants and Procedure
A total of 116 undergraduate students from the same subject pool as Study 1 participated in the study.
The measures were identical to Study 1 (CO evaluation: αGermany = .95, αPoland = .96, purchase intention:
rGermany = .80, rPoland = .89, knowledge α = .94). This procedure was identical to Study 2 except that
participants were asked to return to the laboratory in 24 hours. The next day in accordance with a time
schedule noting when 24 hours was complete, participants completed the IAT and explicit self-report
measures.
Results and Discussion
23
Manipulation and Confound Checks. An ANOVA on the thermometer scales revealed that
participants in the self-focus imagery condition (M = 81.48) reported having significantly more self-
related thoughts than those in the other-focus condition (M = 73.77, F(1, 97) = 5.42, p < .05). However,
no significant difference in other thoughts was evident for other-focus imagery participants and self-
focus participants (p > .59). Thus, these manipulation checks provide partial support for the imagery
focus manipulation. As with Study 2, an ANOVA on the confound check believability measure showed
no significant differences (p > .11) suggesting that the messages did not differ in terms of perceived
believability.
Hypothesis Testing.
Findings on Implicit Measures. For H4, the ANOVA on the IAT effect did not reveal a
significant Imagery x Imagery focus interaction for IAT effect (F(2, 93) = 1.24, p > .28). However
follow-up contrasts were consistent with H4 suggesting that the effect of counterstereotypical imagery
remains stable even after a 24 hour delay (see Table 4). Specifically, participants primed with
counterstereotypical self imagery again exhibited the largest reduction in stereotype bias with a
negative IAT effect of -45.75 ms. As in Study 2, stereotypical self-focused imagery resulted in a
positive IAT effect reflecting a stereotypical stronger association towards a Germany-self association
(M = 108.19). Similarly, the control group also showed a positive IAT effect (M = 88.41). Thus, H4 is
partially supported.
Interestingly a main effect for imagery was significant on IAT (F(2, 93) = 7.81, p = .001).
Further analysis of this result revealed that counterstereotypical imagery reduced stereotyping (M = -
17.59) and this result was significantly different (p < .05) from the other conditions which all had a
positive stereotypical bias (Stereotypical imagery M = 78.38, Neutral imagery M = 97.23, Control
24
group M = 88.41). Overall these results suggest that although imagery retains an effect after a 24 hour
delay, the influence of imagery focus is less stable.
[Insert Table 4]
Findings on Explicit Measures. A MANCOVA with knowledge as a covariate found no significant
interactions for any of the dependent measures (ps > .45). Like Study 2, a significant main effect for
imagery was evident for feeling thermometer scores (F(2, 92) = 4.09, p < .05). As shown in Table 5,
post hoc tests revealed that counterstereotypical imagery resulted in Polish CO being perceived as the
closest to German CO (M = 6.12) in terms of feelings than for the stereotypical (M = 23.14) or neutral
imagery conditions (M = 20.83). Thus, even after a 24 hour delay counterstereotypical imagery reduced
the relative difference to stereotypical imagery by 73.55% compared with 94.54% in Study 2. However
unlike Study 2, no such main effect was present for evaluations (p = .12) or purchase intentions (p =
.11). Thus, H5 is not supported.
[Insert Table 5]
Relationship between Implicit and Explicit Measures. As shown in Table 6, after a 24 hour delay
the IAT was positively correlated with feeling thermometer ratings (r = .25, p < .001) but not with CO
evaluations (r = .03, p > .70) or purchase intentions (r = .17, p = .07).
[Insert Table 6]
Overall, findings were similar but weaker than those revealed in Study 2. The IAT results suggest that
counterstereotypical imagery still reduced stereotypical bias after a 24 hour delay. However, the results
for the explicit measures suggest that the most enduring effect of counterstereotypical imagery is on
participant feelings. Likewise, the correlation of explicit and implicit measure suggests a relatively
more enduring association with feeling thermometer scores than evaluations or purchase intentions.
25
GENERAL DISCUSSION
The present research explored how country of origin stereotypes are automatically activated and how
negative country of origin stereotyping can be weakened through the use of positive mental imagery.
Study 1 showed that individuals automatically activate stereotypical CO associations upon mere
exposure to a CO cue. Specifically, exposure to a negative CO cue resulted in spontaneous negative
associations. These negative associations appeared outside of an individual’s conscious awareness.
This is highly relevant to marketers as it is difficult, or indeed impossible, for people to counteract the
effect of associations that they are not even consciously aware of (Bargh, 2002; Bargh & Chartrand,
1999). Thus, for marketers for products with a negative CO the prognosis appears bleak. Yet Study 2
demonstrates that the automatic effects of negative CO stereotypes can be attenuated through the use
of positive mental imagery that highlights counterstereotypical associations. Study 3 replicated this
effect and showed that it endures even after a 24 hour delay.
Managerial Implications
These findings have important implications for managers of products that are viewed by consumers as
having an unfavorable CO. Our research suggests that managers can mitigate negative CO perceptions
by evoking counterstereotypical mental imagery in their marketing communications. This
recommendation is in marked contrast to conventional marketing practice where any association
between a product and an unfavorable CO is normally avoided or mentioned minimally to avoid
consumers forming a negative view of the product. In contrast we suggest that adopting a proactive
approach may encourage consumers to create new CO associations which can invalidate previously
held negative CO stereotypes. Thus, rather than shying away from unfavorable CO associations in
company promotions, managers could reverse negative CO perceptions by simply encouraging
26
consumers to activate counterstereotypical CO associations. For example, advertising could use vivid
and concrete imagery highlighting favorable product attributes which may then replace preconceived
notions of products that originate from an unfavorable country.
Similarly, having a sustained promotional campaign designed at re-educating consumers about
a CO would provide managers with a successful method of changing stereotypes, create new
associative links in consumers’ memories and may also strengthen counterstereotypical CO beliefs,
thereby making them more salient. For instance, the benefits of manufacturing in China include low
labor costs and speed of production. These benefits often pass on to consumers in the form of superior
value for money. There are potentially many more benefits to sourcing products from China and other
developing countries. The key for managers is to translate those manufacturing advantages into
benefits for the consumer which can be used to generate more favorable CO perceptions.
Further, our findings show that evoking counterstereotypical mental imagery can increase
positive feelings, evaluations and evaluations for Polish cameras. This result suggests that managers of
products made in unfavorable countries should be proactive. Indeed our research reveals that even in
neutral and no-imagery conditions, people automatically revert to their preexisting biases, thus saying
nothing will not improve consumer perceptions of a product with an unfavorable CO. For products
with a favorable CO, our study provides both implicit and explicit evidence that CO does influence
consumer evaluations of products. Thus, for products from a favorable CO, conventional methods such
as using the CO in the brand name, incorporating the colors of the flag in the logo, and displaying
images of scenery that is stereotypical to the product’s CO appear to be worthwhile.
Theoretical Implications
Our findings build on research by Maheswaran (1994) that suggests that CO effects can be viewed
from a stereotyping perspective. Further, our research contributes by showing how studying automatic
27
associations offers insights into CO effects. We also contribute by revealing implicit measure evidence
of stereotyping bias and we show how counterstereotypical imagery can help reduce this stereotyping
bias for countries with a relatively weaker CO. In addition, although prior research has suggested that
invoking the self in messages can lead to more favorable attitudes (Burnkrant & Unnava, 1995; Martin,
Lee, & Yang, 2004; Meyers-Levy & Peracchio, 1996), our research is the first to show how relating a
message to the self can affect implicit CO associations.
Our research also contributes by replicating our initial results and showing how the effect of
counterstereotypical imagery persists after a 24 hour delay. Specifically, counterstereotypical imagery
resulted in a persistent lessening of stereotyping bias even after a 24 hour delay. This result suggests
persisent associative strength since research on the associative network model of memeory suggests
that related memory nodes form stronger associations than unrelated nodes (Srull & Wyer, 1989).
In contrast, the variability in Study 3 responses for the explicit measures after the 24 hour delay
suggest that these responses may be less stable than implicit effects when consumers are exposed to an
imagery prime.
Limitations and Future Research
The current research also has several limitations that merit attention in future research. First, the weak
relationships between the IAT and the explicit measures. In a meta-analysis of IAT research (n = 126
studies), Hofmann et al. (2005) suggest that there are large variations in the degree of correlation
between implicit and explicit measures. They also found a mean correlation of .24 between the IAT
and explicit measures suggesting that the two forms of measures are not independent. Interestingly they
found an increase in correlation when increasing the spontaneity of explicit measure judgments. Since
implicit measures reflect automatic, spontaneous associations, correlations are higher where explicit
measures are responded to spontaneously rather than depending on effortful retrieval from memory
28
(Hofmann et al., 2005). Thus, future research should address the relationship between implicit and
explicit CO effects under differing levels of spontaneity.
Relatedly, implicit measures can also minimise the effect of self-presentation, which is the
desire to appear unprejudiced or unbiased (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995; Greenwald, McGhee, &
Schwartz, 1998). Brunel, Tietje & Greenwald (2004) assert that the relationship between explicit and
the IAT can be limited by response factors (e.g., inaccurate reporting by participants because of
impression management for sensitive questions). Hence, self-presentation may have had an effect.
Indeed, Czellar (2006) suggests that self-monitoring can influence IAT responses. However we do not
support this view because as noted, we measured self-monitoring but found no effect in either study
when this variable was used in correlations with dependent variables or when used as an independent
variable. Thus, our research does not support the view that IAT scores are influenced by self-
monitoring (Czellar, 2006).
Second, we did not measure ethnocentrism or animosity as covariates which have been shown
to offer insight into CO effects (Klein, 2002) and which could be used in future research. Further,
research investigating the role of individual differences on given prior useful research in marketing
using such differences (Martin, 2003; Martin, Gnoth and Strong, 2009; Martin, Lang, and Wong, 2004;
Martin, Sherrard, and Wentzel 2005; Martin, Veer, and Pervan, 2007; Martin, Wentzel, and Tomczak,
2008). Research could also investigate different types of imagery beyond counterstereotypical (Martin,
2004), the roles of ethnic minority models in promotions and how such stimuli interact with CO effects
(Lee, Fernandez, and Martin, 2002), the influence of ad wording (Martin, 1995; Martin and Marshall,
1999), and situational factors, such as self-construal (Martin and Gnoth, 2009), and affect (Martin,
2003; Martin and Lawson 1998).
29
Third, we used student samples which can limit the generalizability of results although Verlegh
and Steenkamp (1999) found that CO effect sizes did not differ between student samples and more
representative consumer samples. Fourth, given that CO can consist of multiple components, such as an
automobile engine from Japan, and exterior parts from England (Chao, 1998), future research should
explore the effect of how different CO product components contribute to implicit CO stereotyping
effects.
30
Appendix 1. Country of Origin Items used in Implicit Association Tests
31
Appendix 2. Imagery Manipulation Examples
Stereotypical Self-focused Imagery Manipulation
Imagine that you recently bought a new digital camera that is made by a well known manufacturer in
Germany. You really liked this German camera because of the camera’s advanced features, and
because it is designed for people who love to take pictures. That's why you picked it out as the perfect
camera for yourself. You believe this German digital camera is a breed apart from other digital
cameras. It weighs about 287 grams so it is light enough to take anywhere and you can easily hold it in
your hand. You think that this German camera is actually more attractive in reality than it appears in
magazines (which don’t reveal its vibrant, appealing color). You also notice that the camera has many
features including 8.1 mega pixels, 3x optical zoom, 2x digital zoom, auto focus, and auto exposure for
striking professional looking photos. Your new camera can also record videos with sound so you can’t
wait to make movies too, and show your friends on the huge 2.5” LCD screen located on the back of
your camera. You also imagine that this ultra compact, light, super stylishly designed digital camera
with simple to use functions is characteristic of similar digital cameras made in Germany. You also
notice that apart from its sleek design and great ease of use it also excels in both landscape and portrait
photography. Overall, you are impressed with this camera’s innovative design and you are very happy
with your purchase of this camera, which is made in Germany.
Counterstereotypical Other-focused Imagery Manipulation
Imagine a report written by other consumers who have recently bought a new digital camera that is
made by a well known manufacturer in Poland. They all really liked this Polish camera because of the
camera’s advanced features, and said that it was designed for people who love to take pictures. That's
why they all picked it out as the perfect camera for them. They also believe this Polish digital camera is
a breed apart from other digital cameras. They state in their report that it weighs about 287 grams so it
is light enough to take anywhere and they can easily hold it in their hand. They think that this Polish
camera is actually more attractive in reality than it appears in magazines (which don’t reveal its
vibrant, appealing color). They also notice that the camera has many features 8.1 mega pixels, 3x
optical zoom, 2x digital zoom, auto focus, and auto exposure for striking professional looking photos.
These consumers also say that their new camera can record videos with sound so they can’t wait to
make movies too, and show their friends on the huge 2.5” LCD screen located on the back of their
camera. They also imagine that this ultra compact, light, super stylishly designed digital camera with
simple to use functions is characteristic of other digital cameras made in Poland. They also notice that
apart from its sleek design and great ease of use it also excels in both landscape and portrait
photography. Overall, they were all very impressed with this camera’s innovative design and were very
happy with their purchase of this camera, which is made in Poland.
32
Table 1
Study 2: IAT results in milliseconds by mental imagery condition
Mental imagery
condition
Stereotype
inconsistent
(Germany-
Other vs
Poland-Self)
Stereotype
consistent
(Germany-Self
vs Poland-
Other)
IAT effect
(Implicit
stereotype)
d value
t value
Stereotypical self-
focused imagery
899.49
778.11
121.38
1.02a
7.67***
Stereotypical other-
focused imagery
844.07
789.72
54.35
.42
3.17**
Counterstereotypical
self-focused imagery
762.91
796.37
-33.46
.28
-2.21*
Counterstereotypical
other-focused imagery
784.92
797.08
-12.16
.09
-.68
Neutral self-focused
imagery 813.24 728.66 84.58 .77 6.00***
Neutral other-focused
imagery 854.96 752.92 102.05
.76 5.81***
Note. The IAT Effect is the difference in response latency between the stereotype inconsistent and
consistent tasks.
a Cohen’s (1988) d value measure of effect size. Conventional small, medium, and large d values
are .20, .50, and .80 respectively (Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998).
* p < .05
** p < .01
*** p < .001
33
Table 2
Study 2: Means (standard deviations) as a function of imagery
Imagery Treatment
Stereotypical
Counterstereotypical
Neutral
Feeling thermometer 22.52 (23.64)a 1.23 (25.72)
b
12.51 (17.13)c
CO evaluations 1.18 (1.32)a.39 (1.34)
b
.83 (1.03)c
Purchase intentions .87 (1.33)a .19 (1.45)
b
.67 (1.19)
Note. Mean scores represent German rating minus Polish rating. A positive mean score shows more
favorable ratings for a German CO relative to a Polish CO.
a, b, c Means with different subscripts are significantly different from each other at p < .05.
Table 3
Study 2: Correlations between the IAT and Explicit Measure
Explicit measures
Measure
1
2
3
4
1. IAT
-
2. Feeling thermometer .13* -
3. Country of origin evaluation .11* .70*** -
4. Purchase intention .09 .56*** .62*** -
Note. * p < .05
** p < .01
*** p < .001
34
Table 4
Study 3: IAT results in milliseconds by mental imagery condition
Mental imagery
condition
Stereotype
inconsistent
(Germany-
Other vs
Poland-Self)
Stereotype
consistent
(Germany-Self
vs Poland-
Other)
IAT effect
(Implicit
stereotype)
d value
t value
Stereotypical self-
focused imagery
819.19
711.00
108.19
.87a
3.47**
Stereotypical other-
focused imagery
751.38
709.69
41.69
.29
1.05
Counterstereotypical
self-focused imagery
752.06
797.81
-45.75
.50
-2.08*
Counterstereotypical
other-focused imagery
738.82
739.75
-.93
.00
-.03
Neutral self-focused
imagery 838.10 738.87 99.23
.79
3.46**
Neutral other-focused
imagery 781.94 687.25 94.69
.56
2.18*
Control group
(no imagery) 864.05 775.64 88.41
.85
3.49**
Note. * p < .05
** p < .01
*** p < .001
35
Table 5
Study 3: Means (standard deviations) as a function of imagery
Imagery Treatment
Stereotypical
Counterstereotypical
Neutral
Feeling thermometer 23.14 (26.65)a 6.12 (26.54)
b
20.83 (26.69)a
CO evaluations 1.46 (1.65) .75 (1.64) 1.45 (1.63)
Purchase intentions 1.35 (1.36) .63 (1.32) .93 (1.34)
Note. Mean scores represent German rating minus Polish rating. A positive mean score shows more
favorable ratings for a German CO relative to a Polish CO.
a, b, c Means with different subscripts are significantly different from each other at p < .05.
Table 6
Study 3: Correlations between the IAT and Explicit Measure
Explicit measures
Measure
1
2
3
4
1. IAT
-
2. Feeling thermometer .25** -
3. Country of origin evaluation .03 .64*** -
4. Purchase intention .17 .72*** .67*** -
Note. * p < .05
** p < .01
*** p < .001
36
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
Germany-self vs Poland-other Poland-self vs Germany-other
Fig. 1. Automatic activation of CO stereotypes: Mean response latency results
Latency (milliseconds)
37
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