14. Jiang, Yuwei, Gerald J. Gorn, Maria Galli, and Amitava Chattopadhyay (2016), “Does Your Company Have the Right Logo? How and Why Circular and Angular Logo Shapes Influence Brand Attribute Judgments,” Journal of Consumer Research, Forthcoming.Five experiments document that the mere circularity and angularity of a brand logo is powerful enough to affect perceptions of the attributes of a product or company. It is theorized and shown that circular vs. angular logo shapes activate softness and hardness associations, respectively, and these concepts subsequently influence product/company attribute judgments through a resource-demanding imagery generation process that utilizes the visuospatial sketchpad component of working memory. There are no logo shape effects on attribute judgments a) when the visuospatial sketchpad component of working memory is constrained by irrelevant visual imagery, b) when people have a lower disposition to generate imagery when processing product information, and c) when the headline of the ad highlights a product attribute that differs from the inference drawn from the logo shape. Further, there are shape effects even when the shape is incidentally exposed beforehand using a priming technique rather than being a part of the logo itself, demonstrating the generalizability of our findings. When taken together, the results have implications for working memory, consumer imagery, and visual marketing.
13. Crilly, Donal, Na Ni, and Yuwei Jiang (2016), “Do No Harm versus Do Good Social Responsibility: Attributional Thinking and the Liability of Foreignness,” Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming.The efforts of multinational corporations to be socially responsible do not always engender positive evaluations from overseas stakeholders. Drawing on attribution theory, we argue that two heuristics guide stakeholders in evaluating firms’ social performance: foreignness, and the valence of firms’ social responsibility. Thus, attribution theory helps to specify when the liability of foreignness is greatest. We provide evidence from a field study of secondary stakeholders and an experimental study involving 129 non-governmental organizations. Consistent with attribution theory, the liability of foreignness is minimized when firms engage in “do good” social responsibility (focused on pro-active engagement creating positive externalities) but is substantial when firms engage in “do no harm” social responsibility (focused on attenuating negative externalities). In a supplementary analysis we demonstrate that these evaluations have consequences for whether stakeholders subsequently cooperate, or sow conflict, with firms.
12. Jiang, Yuwei, Zhansheng Chen, and Robert S. Wyer, Jr. (2014), “Impact of Money on Emotional Expression,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 55, 228-233.Activating the concept of money can influence people’s own expressions of emotion as well as their reactions to the emotional expressions of others. Thinking about money increases individuals’ disposition to perceive themselves in a business-like relationship with others in which transactions are based on objective criteria and the expression of emotion is considered inappropriate. Therefore, these individuals express less emotion in public and expect others to do likewise. Six experiments show that subtle reminders of money lead people to have more negative attitudes toward expressing emotions in public and to avoid expressing emotion in their written communications. In addition, money-primed participants judge others’ emotions to be more extreme and are disposed to avoid interacting with persons who display these emotions, especially when participants believe that these emotions are expressed in public.
11. Jiang, Yuwei, Rashmi Adaval, Yael Steinhart, and Robert S. Wyer, Jr. (2014), “Imagining Yourself in the Scene: The Interactive Effects of Goal-Driven Self-Imagery and Visual Perspectives on Consumer Behavior,” Journal of Consumer Research, 41(2), 418-435.Consumers often imagine themselves in a scene and engage in such self-imagery while processing information. The goals that they have when they engage in such imagery (e.g., a goal to construct a story of the experience vs. a goal to acquire information) can influence how the mental images they generate impact judgments. When pictures from very different perspectives are provided, those trying to imagine themselves in the scene in order to create a story of the experience, have to shift visual perspectives in order to imagine the entire experience. This shift in visual perspective can increase processing difficulty and decrease evaluations of the product or service being described. When individuals are simply imagining themselves acquiring information about the product or service, however, presenting information from different perspectives has a positive impact on evaluations. Four experiments confirmed these effects and the assumptions underlying their conceptualization.
10. Jiang, Yuwei, Lingjing Zhan, and Derek D. Rucker (2014), “Power and Action Orientation: Power as a Catalyst for Consumer Switching Behavior,” Journal of Consumer Research, 41(1), 183-196.Building on an action-orientation perspective of power, original hypotheses regarding power and consumer switching behavior are presented. Because high power is associated with a readiness to act, and switching behavior often requires taking action in some form, inducing consumers to feel powerful is hypothesized to increase consumer switching. Multiple experiments provide support for this perspective along with evidence for the process via both moderation and mediation. This works contributes to the consumer switching literature by demonstrating power as a new psychological catalyst for switching behavior. This work also adds to the power literature by distinguishing between goal priming and semantic priming accounts of the action orientation of high power. Specifically, consistent with a goal priming account, engaging in action is found to sate consumers’ subsequent need for action as opposed to maintain or increase consumers’ desire to act, as might be predicted from a semantic priming account.
9. Jiang, Yuwei*, and Jiewen Hong* (2014), “It Feels Fluent, But Not Right: The Interactive Effect of Expected and Experienced Processing Fluency on Evaluative Judgment,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 54, 147-152.In this research, we examined the malleability of processing fluency from the angle of people's a priori expectation of how fluently stimuli will be processed. Results from three studies suggest that the value of the fluency experience is contingent on how easy or difficult people expect the incoming information would be processed. Specifically, participants had higher evaluations of the target when their experienced processing fluency conformed (vs. did not conform) to their expected processing fluency. We also found that the interactive effect between expected fluency and experienced fluency was mediated by a sense of assurance when people’s subjective fluency experience conformed to their expectations. Moreover, we showed that a positive effect of processing fluency occurred when people are under cognitive load (affective route); and interpreting the fluency experience in terms of one's expected fluency occurs when people had enough cognitive capacity (interpretive route).
8. Duclos, Rod, Echo Wen Wan, and Yuwei Jiang (2013), “Show Me the Honey! Effects of Social Exclusion on Financial Risk-Taking,” Journal of Consumer Research, 40(3), 122-135.This research examines the effects of social exclusion on a critical aspect of consumer behavior, financial decision-making. Specifically, four lab experiments and one field survey uncover how feeling isolated or ostracized causes consumers to pursue riskier but potentially more profitable financial opportunities. These daring proclivities do not appear driven by impaired affect or self-esteem. Rather, interpersonal rejection exacerbates financial risk-taking by heightening the instrumentality of money (as a substitute for popularity) to obtain benefits in life. Invariably, the quest for wealth that ensues tends to adopt a riskier but potentially more lucrative road. The article concludes by discussing the implications of its findings for behavioral research as well as for societal and individual welfare.
7. Shen, Hao, Yuwei Jiang, and Rashmi Adaval (2010), “Contrast and Assimilation Effects in Processing Fluency,” Journal of Consumer Research, 36(5), 876-889.
As processing difficulty associated with a product increases, information about a subsequently encountered product becomes easier to process, leading to more favorable evaluations of it (a contrast effect). If, however, the two products are categorized as part of the same overall experience, then the negative feelings elicited by increased processing difficulty of the first product transfer to the second product, leading to more unfavorable evaluations of it (an assimilation effect). Five studies identify the conditions in which the two processes occur and outline the various mechanisms that might underlie these effects.
6. Jiang, Yuwei, and Robert
S. Wyer Jr. (2009), “The Role of Visual Perspective in Information Processing,” Journal of
Experimental Social Psychology,
Social events can be described from the perspective of either a person in the situation in which the event occurs (e.g., ‘‘John came into. . .”) or that of an outside observer (‘‘John went into. . .”). We find that when individuals are disposed to form visual images, they have difficulty comprehending both verbal statements and pictures when the perspective from which the event is described differs from the perspective from which they have encountered similar events in daily life. Furthermore, the disposition to form visual images increases the intensity of emotional reactions to an event when the event is described from the perspective of someone in the situation in which it occurs. These effects are not evident, however, among individuals who typically process information semantically without forming visual images.
5. Jiang, Yuwei, Angela
Cho, and Rashmi Adaval (2009), “The Unique Consequences of Feeling Lucky:
Implications for Consumer Behavior,” Journal
of Consumer Psychology, 19(2),
Cognitive priming procedures were used to identify the unique effects that luck-related concepts have on consumer behavior. The effects of these concepts could theoretically influence behavior through the elicitation of positive affect or via temporary changes in participants' self representations of how lucky they feel. An initial experiment showed that priming Asian consumers with lucky numbers independently influenced both their perceptions of personal luck and the positive affect they reported experiencing. Subsequent experiments, however, showed that the effect of these primes on consumer behavior was mediated by momentary changes in how lucky people felt (i.e. changes in the self concept) rather than by the positive affect they were experiencing at the time. Exposing consumers to lucky numbers influenced their estimates of how likely they were to win a lottery (Experiment 2), their willingness to participate in such a lottery (Experiment 4), their evaluations of different promotional strategies (Experiment 3), and also the amount of money they were willing to invest in different financial options (Experiment 4). The effect of luck on behavior was also moderated by a person's regulatory focus.
4. Gorn, Gerald J.*, Yuwei Jiang*, and Gita V. Johar* (2008), “Babyfaces, Trait Inferences, and Company Evaluations in a Public Relations Crisis,” Journal of Consumer Research, 35(1), 36-49.
We investigate the effects of babyfaceness on the trustworthiness and judgments of a company’s chief executive officer in a public relations crisis. Experiment 1 demonstrates boundary conditions for the babyfaceness-honesty trait inference and its influence on company evaluations. Experiment 2 shows that trait inferences of honesty are drawn spontaneously but are corrected in the presence of situational evidence (a severe crisis) if cognitive resources are available. We demonstrate that these babyface-trait associations underlie evaluations by reversing the babyface effect on judgments in (a) experiment 3, where a priming task creates associations counter to the typical babyface–unintentional harm stereotype, and (b) experiment 4, which creates a situation where innocence is a liability.
3. Wyer, Robert S. Jr., Iris W. Hung,
and Yuwei Jiang (2008), “Visual and Verbal Processing Strategies in
Comprehension and Judgment,” Journal of Consumer Psychology, 18(4), 244-257. (Top 10 cited article in JCP, 2005-2010)
The information we receive in the course of daily life experience is often transmitted both verbally and visually. Two different processing strategies are postulated to underlie the integration of this information, the activation of which may be influenced by (a) chronic individual differences in the disposition to process information visually vs. verbally, (b) situational factors that influence the relative accessibility of these strategies in memory, and (c) characteristics of the information to be processed. Research in both social and consumer psychology is discussed in terms of the conceptual framework we propose.
2. Wyer, Robert S. Jr., Yuwei Jiang,
and Iris W.
Hung (2008), “Visual and Verbal
Information Processing in a Consumer Context: Further Considerations,” Journal of
Consumer Psychology, 18(4), 276-280.
Among the many provocative comments on the paper by Wyer, R.S., Hung, I.W., & Jiang, Y.W. (2008) Visual and verbal processing strategies in comprehension and judgment. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 18. are concerns about (a) the relation of the conceptualization proposed to more general theoretical formulations of information processing, (b) the consistency of this conceptualization with current knowledge about brain functioning, (c) its implications for other, unmentioned areas of consumer decision making, and (d) the measurement of individual differences in visual and verbal processing strategies. We attempt to respond to these concerns and, in some cases, to elaborate their implications.
1. Moore, Sarah G., Darren W. Dahl, Gerald J. Gorn, Charles B. Weinberg, Jongwon Park, and Yuwei Jiang (2008), “Condom Embarrassment: Coping and Consequences for Condom Use in Three Countries,” AIDS Care, 20(3), 553-559.
This studyinvestigates embarrassment related to condom purchase, carrying, storage, use, and disposal in three countries. We identifythe consequences of purchase embarrassment for condom use and explore strategies that individuals use to cope with purchase-related embarrassment. Surveys were distributed in Shanghai, China and Seoul, Republic of Korea based on a surveydeveloped and previouslydistributed in Vancouver, Canada. Despite different levels of development and differences in attitudes and policies toward sexualityin these countries, we find remarkablysimilar results. In all three countries, condom-related embarrassment extends beyond condom use to pre- and post-use situations. The embarrassment associated with purchasing condoms exceeds that of using condoms, and purchase-related condom embarrassment significantlyand negativelyimpacts the frequencyof condom use. Individuals use multiple coping strategies to combat purchase-related embarrassment until this embarrassment decreases with age and experience, and coping strategies are no longer needed to enable condom purchase. In short, embarrassment associated with condoms goes beyond embarrassment about condom use. Purchase-related embarrassment and the strategies individuals use to cope with this embarrassment must be considered in order to promote consistent condom use and improve sexual and reproductive health worldwide.
* = equal authorship