Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communication

Document Type



With an online experiment and a focus group, I examined the role of cultural appeals in online persuasive communication. The results of the study revealed that culturally oriented Web sites and online advertisements influence individual attitudes and behavioral intentions. These effects were particularly strong when cultural appeals were consistent across advertisements and their hosting Web sites. I observed the main effect of culture on persuasiveness of Web sites and advertisements both the American and the Chinese samples of participants. The results of the study did not, however, support the expectation that ethnic identity and need for cognition would interact with the effects of cultural appeals. Participants had uniform reactions across various levels of ethnic identity and need for cognition. The findings of my study suggest that online marketers and advertisers should focus not only on the message, but also on the media when targeting ethnic consumers. In fact, the cultural relevance between an advertisement and its hosting Web site is a prerequisite for a successful advertising campaign.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Lance Porter