Exclusionary reactions to foreign cultures: Effects of simultaneous exposure to cultures in globalized space

Carlos J Torelli, Chi-yue Chiu, Kim-pong Tam, Al K C Au, Hean Tat Keh

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74 Citations (Scopus)


In globalized economies, people often encounter symbols of dissimilar cultures simultaneously. Research on the psychological effects of simultaneous exposure to dissimilar cultures is therefore strategically located at the intersection of globalization, culture, and psychology. In seven experiments, we showed that exposure to a commercial product that embodies symbols of two dissimilar cultures can enhance perceptibility of cultural differences (Experiments 2, 5, and 6) and perceptions of cultural incompatibility (Experiment 1). Furthermore, following simultaneous exposure to two dissimilar cultures, individuals may display defensive responses to cultural contamination of an iconic cultural brand when mortality concerns are salient (Experiments 3, 4, and 7). Finally, although we obtained a robust bicultural exposure effect across experiments, thoughtful elaboration about cultural complexities can attenuate this effect and its attendant defensive responses to cultural contamination . (Experiments 5-7).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716 - 742
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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