Language and Consumer Memory: The Impact of Linguistic Differences between Chinese and English
Languages of the Asia-Pacific region, such as Chinese, are based on ideographic writing systems which are radically different from the alphabetic systems used in Western languages, such as English. We propose that structural differences between Chinese and English affect mental representations which, in turn, influence consumer memory of verbal information. Specifically, unaided brand recall should be differentially affected in Chinese and English when it is spoken compared with when it is written. Furthermore, recognition should be differentially affected in Chinese and English when brand names are learned auditorily compared with when they are learned visually. Results of a cross-cultural experiment conducted in China and in the United States confirm predictions for unaided brand recall and partially confirm predictions for recognition. Copyright 1994 by the University of Chicago.
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