- According to Engel, Blackwell, and Miniard (1993), evaluative criteria refer to
"the standards and specifications used by consumers to compare different products and
brands" (p. 51). Many studies have examined the importance of clothing evaluative
criteria used by consumers in their decision making. However, few studies have compared
the clothing evaluative criteria used by consumers in different countries.
Therefore, the purpose of the study was to compare the influence of culture on the
importance placed on clothing evaluative criteria between Taiwanese and United States
college women. Self-administered questionnaires were used for data collection. Seven-point
scales were used to measure the importance of 12 clothing criteria: fabric,
comfortable to wear, size/fit, quality, country of origin, color, pleasing to others,
suitability, price, style, and coordination. The questionnaire also measured respondent's
demographic characteristics. The questionnaire was first developed in English, translated
into Chinese, and then back-translated into English.
Questionnaires were handed out in classes at Oregon State University in the
United States and at Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taiwan. A convenience sample of 233
female students received questionnaires (102 U.S. and 131 Taiwanese). Overall, 119
Taiwanese and 84 U.S. college women, who were qualified and completed the
questionnaires, served as subjects. Data from the questionnaires were analyzed using t-tests.
The findings indicated that the importance placed on clothing evaluative criteria
was partially influenced by the nationality of the respondents. No significant differences
were found between the two groups in the importance of style, coordination, color, fabric,
price, pleasing to others, and brand name (p>.05). However, significant differences were
found between the two groups in the importance of comfortable to wear, size/fit, quality,
country of origin, and suitability (p<.05). Despite the significant differences found for
these evaluative criteria, the mean importance scores were very similar between the two
groups. Based upon mean importance scores, the evaluative criterion, size/fit (mean: U.S.=6.69, Taiwan=6.29) was the most important criterion for both groups.
Based on the results from this study, consumer decision making of U.S. and
Taiwanese college females may be very similar for purchasing apparel. International
marketers and retailers may use cross-national comparison studies related to Taiwan
market that deal with the consumer decision process such as the present study for their
international marketing strategies.