Testing the Moderating Effect of Message Sidedness on
Explicit Conclusion and Implicit Conclusion: A cross-cultural study
Explicit conclusion message = A message containing a sentence stating clearly
what the message is advocating.
Implicit conclusion message = A message lacking a sentence which state what the
message is advocating.
Explicit conclusion messages are more persuasive than implicit conclusion messages
cf. meta-analysis = statistical integration of the results of different studies on
the same topic, using the results of each study (rather than the responses
of individual participant) as the unit of analysis
One-sided message = Only the message source‟s position on the advocated issue is
presented in the message.
Two-sided refutational message = The possibility of another position on the
advocated issue is raised, and refuted.
Two-sided nonrefutational message = The existence of another position on the
advocated issue is acknowledged and noted to be undesirable, but no attempt is
made to demonstrate why it is undesirable.
When the topic is not an advertisement, two-sided refutational messages are more
persuasive than one-sided messages, which are more persuasive than two-sided
Possible cultural bias in the previous research in the two area
; Only a few studies conducted outside the U.S.
; High value placed on explicitness and unambiguousness in the U.S.
Communication style differences between the U.S. and Japan
; U.S. American communication style = problem-oriented, direct, explicit
(low-context communication style)
; Japanese communication style = harmony-oriented, indirect, implicit
(high-context communication style)
cf. high-context communication = little information is coded in the explicitly
transmitted part of the message; i.e., most information is coded in the physical
context or internalized in the person
Objectives of the study
; Examine explicit/implicit conclusion and message sidedness at the same time (interaction)
; Compare the persuasive message structures between the U.S. and Japan
; In the U.S., explicit conclusion message will be more persuasive than implicit conclusion
message in all message-sidedness conditions.
; In Japan, implicit conclusion message will be just as persuasive as explicit conclusion
message in two-sided refutational and one-sided conditions. Explicit conclusion message
will be more persuasive in two-sided nonrefutational condition.
; 2；3 factorial, pre-post design
[(explicit/implicit conclusion) ； (message sidedness)]
; Dependent variable - the “attitude measure score”
difference of the „message perception indicator‟ score between the pre-test and
post-test [ (post-test score) – (pre-test score) ]
; Message topic – increasing the number of classes required for graduation
; Separate analyses for the U.S. and Japan
Attitude Measure Score in Each Condition
Country Messages mean SD N t df p min max U.S. Two-sided refutational,
explicit conclusion 3.50 4.95 24 3.46 23 0.002** -5 15
implicit conclusion 2.67 6.87 30 2.13 29 0.042* -9 18
explicit conclusion 2.54 6.75 28 1.99 27 0.057 -11 15
implicit conclusion 1.84 5.06 25 1.82 24 0.082 -5 15
explicit conclusion 4.56 6.71 25 3.40 24 0.002** -11 18
implicit conclusion 4.04 7.92 24 2.50 23 0.020* -10 20
Japan Two-sided refutational
explicit conclusion 3.57 5.23 23 3.27 22 0.004** -3 17
implicit conclusion 1.54 7.50 24 1.01 23 0.324 -13 15
explicit conclusion 3.05 6.37 22 2.24 21 0.036* -8 14
implicit conclusion 3.95 5.66 20 3.12 19 0.006** -6 15
explicit conclusion 5.41 5.96 22 4.26 21 0.000** -5 16
implicit conclusion 2.52 8.67 23 1.40 22 0.177 -19 15
Note. * significant at p < 0.05 level ** significant at p < 0.01 level The t-tests are for the comparing each cell mean against 0.
ANOVA Result of Cell Means
Country Effect Source Sum of df Mean F
Squares Square U.S. Main effects