Cross -cultural cognition and online information design: Identifying cognitive styles among Web designers of diverse national origin

Anthony Faiola, Purdue University


There are vast differences in the way people think, behave, assign value, and interact on the Internet. As a result, culture becomes an increasingly relevant area for Internet researchers to investigate how information should be designed for a cross-cultural audience. Numerous studies in computer-mediated communication (CMC) have identified links among culture, user preferences, and Web usability. Most of these studies were reports of findings from a behavioral perspective in explaining how cultural factors affect processes of Web-related content design and use. Based on the research of Vygotsky and Nisbett, this author proposed a broader model by which Web design, like other types of information production, is seen as being shaped by cultural cognitive processes that impact the designers' cognitive style. This dissertation was an exploration of issues related to Web designers' cultural cognitive styles and their impact on user responses. The author posited that a number of measures would show that American 1 and Chinese users would respond to Web content created by designers from their own cultures with a faster performance speed and higher levels of preference. A two-phase study, using an online and in-lab methodology, resulted in the null hypothesis being rejected for two of three hypotheses. Other results provided insights into the role of emotion, cultural bias, and their influence on the cultural cognitive responses of Web users. 1America(n) always refers to the United States of America throughout this dissertation.




Webb, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Information systems|Mass media|Computer science

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