Research & Publications
The Horizontal/Vertical Distiniction in Cross-Cultural Consumer Research
2006, Journal of Consumer Psychology
Sharon Shavitt, Ashok K. Lalwani, Jing Zhang, Carlos Torelli
We argue for the importance of a relatively new cultural distinction in the horizontal (valuing equality) or vertical (emphasizing hierarchy) nature of cultures and cultural orientations. A review of the existing cross-cultural literature is presented suggesting that, although the contribution of the horizonal/vertical distinction is sometimes obscured by methods that conflate it with other dimensions, its impact is distinct from that associated with individualism-collectivism. We present studies that highlight several sources of value for the horizontal/vertical distinction--as a predictor of new consumer psychology phenomena and as a basis for refining the understanding of known phenomena. Results support the utility of examining this distinction for the understanding of personal values, advertising and consumer persuasion, self-presentational patterns, and gender differences. Methodological issues in studying the horizontal/vertical distinction are also discussed.
Shavitt, Sharon, Ashok K. Lalwani, Jing Zhang, and Carlos Torelli (2006), "The Horizontal/Vertical Distinction in Cross-Cultural Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Psychology, 16 (4), 325-342.