Cultural differences in the persuasiveness of evidence types and evidence quality

Cultural differences in reasoning and persuasion have mainly been documented for the East – West divide. Nisbett (2003) expects such differences to be absent for Western cultures because of their shared Grecian inheritance. The results of two experiments, however, show that France and the Netherlands, both Western-European countries, differ with respect to the persuasiveness of different evidence types. In Study 1 (N = 600), cultural differences occurred between the relative persuasiveness of anecdotal, statistical, causal and expert evidence. In Study 2 (N = 600), the quality of statistical and expert evidence was manipulated. For the Dutch, but not for the French, normatively strong evidence was more persuasive than normatively weak evidence for both evidence types. Implications and possible explanations are discussed.

  • Hornikx, J., & Hoeken, H. (2007). Cultural differences in the persuasiveness of evidence types and evidence quality. Communication Monographs, 74 (4), 443-463. [pdf]

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