Use of hedonic scales among Chinese, Koreans, and Thais Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/n009w554q

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  • To satisfy the desires of consumers in global markets for new products, it is essential that the cross-cultural differences in product acceptance are understood. An important aspect in cross-cultural research is the measurement tool of product acceptance. The most common scale for acceptance testing is the 9-point hedonic scale that was developed and evaluated in the United States (US) with American consumers. However, no research has been reported in the literature evaluating the effectiveness of the 9-point hedonic scale for Pacific Rim cultures. The first objective of this research was to compare the usage of the 9-point hedonic scale among American, Korean, Chinese, and Thai consumers. A total of 575 respondents evaluated sample pairs using 9-point hedonic scales translated directly from English into their respective languages. Results indicate that Chinese, Korean, and Thai respondents use the 9-point hedonic scale differently from American respondents, irrespective of residency in the US or length of stay. These ethnic groups use a smaller range of the 9-point hedonic scale than Americans. Moreover, there were no significant differences in food preferences for Thai and Korea consumers residing in the US or their native countries. The implication of this research is that scaling effects may have confounded other cross-cultural studies comparing western and Pacific Rim cultures. A second study was conducted using 554 respondents from China, Taiwan, Korea and Thailand to further evaluate the effectiveness of modified hedonic scales for different Asian Pacific Rim cultures. This study had its objective to develop an improved hedonic scale for consumers from Korea, China, and Thailand. An incomplete Latin square design was employed to balance the presentation of sample pairs over four scale types. Results indicated Chinese respondents use an unstructured line scale with new word anchors most effectively, whereas Korean and Thai respondents use more effectively a structured 17-point line scale. Results also show trends for cultural adaptations with length of residency for more effective use of the standard 9-point hedonic scale among Chinese from Taiwan, Koreans and Thais. These results can be applied for more effective cross-cultural research when comparing food acceptance among American, Chinese, Korean, and Thai consumers. Further, these results suggest that caution must be taken when using Korean, Chinese, and Thai consumers residing in the US as predictors of consumer acceptance in their native countries.
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