Independent or Interdependent? Examining the Self-construal Theory in the Processing of Online Travel Reviews

Authors

  • Junjiao (Judy) Zhang College of Tourism and Service Management Nankai University
  • Tao Sun Graduate School of International Media, Communication, and Tourism Studies Hokkaido University
  • Naoya Ito Research Faculty of Media and Communication Hokkaido University
  • Qinghui Li College of Tourism and Service Management Nankai University

Keywords:

self-construal, interdependent self, independent self, online travel reviews (OTRs)

Abstract

The social media context is evoking the considerable changes in consumers’ self-construal in the new individualized postmodern era. Is generally classifying Chinese consumers as interdependent self still applicable? Is the self-construal held by Chinese consumers changing? If so, how do the changes predict the role of self-construal in their processing of online travel reviews (OTRs)? By combining the self-construal theory into the information adoption model, this study explored the dynamics of the two different self-construals, independent and interdependent, in consumers’ processing of OTRs. Findings from a data set of 302 college students indicated that, although the young generation tends to be independent in a collectivistic culture context such as China, they still prefer to utilize their interdependent self to make decisions when processing OTRs. Especially, independent consumers are inclined to assess the usefulness of OTRs through the argument quality. Theoretical and practical implications are also provided.

Author Biographies

Junjiao (Judy) Zhang, College of Tourism and Service Management Nankai University

Junjiao (Judy) Zhang is a postdoctoral researcher at the College of Tourism and Service Management at Nankai University, China. Her research interests include tourist psychology and behavior in the social media context, social media marketing, and tourism education innovation, particularly MOOCs.

Tao Sun, Graduate School of International Media, Communication, and Tourism Studies Hokkaido University

Tao Sun (MA, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan) is a doctoral candidate (D1) in the Graduate School of International Media, Communication, and Tourism Studies at Hokkaido University, Japan. His research focuses on the influence of online travel reviews on travelers' perception of risk and travelers' information search behavior.

Naoya Ito, Research Faculty of Media and Communication Hokkaido University

Naoya Ito is a professor of Research Faculty of Media and Communication at Hokkaido University, Japan. His interest fields are public relations and marketing based on information strategy, tourism informatics, and consumer behavior.

Qinghui Li, College of Tourism and Service Management Nankai University

Qinghui Li, Ph.D student at the College of Tourism and Service Management at Nankai University, China. Her research interests are: regional tourism and hospitality development, sharing economy and tourism education, particularly MOOCs.

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Published

2019-12-20

How to Cite

Zhang, J. (Judy), Sun, T., Ito, N. and Li, Q. (2019) “Independent or Interdependent? Examining the Self-construal Theory in the Processing of Online Travel Reviews”, e-Review of Tourism Research, 17(4). Available at: https://journals.tdl.org/ertr/index.php/ertr/article/view/547 (Accessed: 16January2021).

Issue

Section

Late Breaking Results