Consumer tweets about brands: A content analysis of sentiment tweets about goods and services

JCCSocial media allow consumers to easily share positive or negative information about a brand with other consumers, for instance through Twitter. Such Twitter use is a source of information that may affect the brand reputation. Therefore, it is important to gain more understanding of how Twitter is employed to evaluate brands and to communicate these evaluations with others. Previous research on Twitter use has shown that tweets about brands are more likely to be positive than negative. The present study integrates an agenda-setting perspective with studies on word-of-mouth and services marketing, which have suggested that this finding may be different for services than for goods. A quantitative content analysis of 1920 Dutch tweets for 24 different brands was performed. The analysis showed that services receive significantly more negative sentiment tweets than products. Implications of these results for monitoring consumers are discussed.

  • Hornikx, J. & Hendriks, B. (2015). Consumer tweets about brands: A content analysis of sentiment tweets about goods and services. Journal of Creative Communications, 10 (2), 176-185. [link]

The curiosity-evoking capacity of foreign languages in advertising

dujal_pbIn commercial messages, such as advertisements, foreign languages are sometimes displayed. Regardless of whether readers understand the foreign language utterance, researchers have claimed that such foreign language display evokes curiosity to read the ad, and improves ad and product evaluation. Whereas empirical research has established the impact of foreign language display on evaluation, no studies have been conducted on its curiosity-evoking capacity. In this research note, the importance of this capacity is highlighted, and a first study is presented that tested this capacity. The results did not find support for the curiosity-evoking capacity of foreign language display.

  • Hornikx, J., & Mulder, E. (2015). The curiosity-evoking capacity of foreign languages in advertising. Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4 (1), 59-66. [link]

Non-nativeness in communication: Use and effects of foreign languages in advertising

dujal_pbOne of the linguistic consequences of globalization is the increase in the number of people communicating with each other in a language that is not their own. Studies have started to examine how non-nativeness affects people in their production and evaluation of discourse. This special interest section brings together a collection of empirical papers in a particular domain of non-nativeness in communication, that is, the use and effects of foreign languages in job and product advertisements. These papers investigate how the use of foreign languages is appreciated by non-native users, what determines the occurrence of foreign languages, how recall of foreign languages compares to the recall of L1 advertising, and whether foreign languages attract the readers’ curiosity. Together, these papers demonstrate the growing academic interest in non-nativeness in communication.

  • Hornikx, J. (2015). Non-nativeness in communication: Use and effects of foreign languages in advertising. Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4 (1), 1-5. [link]

Het effect van evidentiekwaliteit op de beoordeling van standpunten: de rol van toegevoegde tekst

TvT coverClaims supported by high-quality evidence have been found to be more persuasive than claims supported by low-quality evidence. However, Hoeken and Hustinx (2007) showed that this effect was only observed in short texts (a claim with evidence), but not in longer texts (where information unrelated to the evidence was added at the end of the text). The current experiment was conducted to examine whether this effect of text length could be explained by distraction (the additional text at the end distracts the reader) or by dilution (the additional text makes the fragment less diagnostic for claim evaluation). Participants (N = 629) read two texts with high/low-quality evidence. The text was presented in three versions: short, long with additional information at the end, or – new in comparison to Hoeken and Hustinx (2007) – long with additional information at the start. The data found support for the distraction explanation: an effect of evidence quality on persuasiveness was observed in the short text, and in the longer text with additional information at the start, but not in the longer text with additional information at the end.

  • Hornikx, J. (2014). Het effect van evidentiekwaliteit op de beoordeling van standpunten: de rol van toegevoegde tekst. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, 36 (1), 107-125 [link].

Hedendaags theoretisch en empirisch onderzoek naar argumentatieschema’s

TvT coverThe concept of argumentation schemes plays an important role in identifying real-life argumentation, and in assessing the quality of this argumentation by virtue of critical questions. Argumentation schemes have played a central role within argumentation theory since the second half of the last century. This special issue addresses two general topics related to argumentation schemes. In the first place, some papers tackle the question how argumentation schemes should be classified into a framework, and how they work together in argumentative discourse. In the second place, other papers address the question how language users employ criteria to evaluate argumentation.

  • Jansen, H., & Hornikx, J. (2014). Hedendaags theoretisch en empirisch onderzoek naar argumentatieschema’s. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, 36 (1), 1-9 [link].

Een Bayesiaans perspectief op argumentkwaliteit: het ad populum-argument onder de loep

tvtOm mensen mee te krijgen met een standpunt zijn overtuigende argumenten belangrijk. Sociaal-psychologische onderzoeken laten zien dat sommige argumenten overtuigender zijn dan andere, maar is het onduidelijk welke kenmerken van argumenten dat verschil verklaren. In de zoektocht naar een theorie over argumentkwaliteit bekijkt deze bijdrage eerst enkele perspectieven op argumentkwaliteit. Studies uit de cognitieve psychologie hebben zich wel verdiept in kenmerken die de kwaliteit van argumenten bepalen, maar dit perspectief stuit op bezwaren. Argumentatieschema’s met kritische vragen hebben het meest bevredigende perspectief geboden voor kenmerken van argumentkwaliteit. Toch heeft ook dit perspectief enkele nadelen. Zo is het onduidelijk wat de normatieve basis is om argumentkwaliteit te laten afhangen van de kritische vragen. Vervolgens wordt betoogd dat een Bayesiaans perspectief een waardevol vertrekpunt kan zijn voor het ontwikkelen van een theorie over argumentkwaliteit. Een Bayesiaans perspectief op het ad populum-argument laat de potentie van deze aanpak zien: nieuwe kritische vragen, die onderling samenhangen, blijken relevant voor de kwaliteit van een ad populum-argument. Samen met bestaande inzichten over argumentatieschema’s kan dit perspectief helpen om een theorie over argumentkwaliteit te ontwikkelen.

  • Hornikx, J. (2013). Een Bayesiaans perspectief op argumentkwaliteit: het ad populum-argument onder de loep. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, 35 (2), 128-143. [link]

Germans are not sensitive to the quality of statistical evidence

JOCC coverFor a long time, research in communication and argumentation has investigated which kinds of evidence are most effective in changing people’s beliefs in descriptive claims. For each type of evidence, such as statistical or expert evidence, high-quality and low-quality variants exist, depending on the extent to which evidence respects norms for strong argumentation. Studies have shown that participants are sensitive to such quality variations in some, but not in all, cultures. This paper expands such work by comparing the persuasiveness of high- and low-quality statistical and expert evidence for participants from two geographically close cultures, the Dutch and the German. Study 1, in which participants (N = 150) judge a number of claims with evidence, underscores earlier findings that high-quality is more persuasive than low-quality evidence for the Dutch, and – surprisingly – also shows that this is less the case for the Germans, in particular for statistical evidence. Study 2 with German participants (N = 64) shows again they are not sensitive to the quality of statistical evidence, and rules out that this finding can be attributed to their understanding of the rules of generalization. Together, findings in this paper underline the need to empirically investigate what norms people from different cultures have for high-quality evidence, and to what extent these norms matter for persuasive success.

  • Hornikx, J., & Haar, M. ter (2013). Evidence quality and persuasiveness: Germans are not sensitive to the quality of statistical evidence. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 13 (5), 483-501. [linkpdf upon request]

De effecten van other-benefit appeals, self-benefit appeals en exemplars bij het werven van vrijwilligers

tvtIn onderzoek naar de effectiviteit van wervingsbrieven is het inspelen op de belangen voor een ander (other-benefit appeal) regelmatig vergeleken met het inspelen op de belangen voor de lezer zelf (self-benefit appeal). Omdat bij deze vergelijkingen de belangen inhoudelijk van elkaar verschilden, zijn in het huidige onderzoek de voordelen van gepropageerd gedrag in alle condities gelijkgehouden. Hiertoe werden exemplars ingezet. Wervingsbrieven met een exemplar werden tevens vergeleken met wervingsbrieven zonder exemplar om de effecten van exemplars na te gaan. Een experiment werd uitgevoerd met een 2 (type appeal) x 2 (met exemplar/zonder exemplar) tussen-proefpersoonontwerp (N = 120). De other-benefit appeal bleek overtuigender te zijn dan de self-benefit appeal. Brieven met een exemplar waren weliswaar niet overtuigender dan brieven zonder exemplar, maar werden wel beter gewaardeerd. Dit effect werd volledig gemedieerd door de levendigheid en de begrijpelijkheid van de brief.

  • Krieken, K. van, & Hornikx, J. (2013). De effecten van self-benefit appeals, other-benefit appeals en exemplars bij het werven van vrijwilligers voor charitatieve organisaties. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, 35 (1), 82-99. [link]

Foreign language display in advertising for congruent versus incongruent products

jicmAdvertising often confronts consumers with foreign languages, such as German or French in the US, but little is known about the circumstances under which this is effective. The linguistic theory of foreign language display claims that the congruence with the product is the essential element in its effectiveness. This study investigates this premise by having Dutch participants (N = 150) evaluate ads for products that were (in)congruent with the language of the slogan (French, German, Spanish). Results show that foreign language display is indeed more effective for congruent (e.g., wine–French) than for incongruent products (e.g., beer–French).

  • Hornikx, J., Meurs, F. van, & Hof, R.-J. (2013). The effectiveness of foreign-language display in advertising for congruent versus incongruent products. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 25 (3), 152-165. [pdf].

Occupational safety in multicultural teams and organizations: A research agenda

Safety is an important issue in the workplace, in particular at the lower end of the labor market where the workforce often consists of people with different cultural backgrounds. Studies have underlined the potential threats to occupational safety of this workforce. Surprisingly, however, very little research has been conducted on national culture and occupational safety. In this paper, we examine how national culture may play a role in important antecedents of safety behavior that have identified in the meta-analysis of Christian et al. (2009). We discuss safety knowledge, safety motivation, and safety climate. Based on this analysis, we make a number of suggestions for future research.

  • Starren, A., Hornikx, J., & Luijters, K. (2013). Occupational safety in multicultural teams and organizations: A research agenda. Safety Science, 52 (2), 43-49. [link].