Date of this Version


Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Details

Liang, B. and Kale, S. H. (2011). Cultural differences in imagery generation: the influence of abstract versus concrete thinking

Working Paper Series; No. 46, May 2011.

Copyright © Beichen Liang, Sudhir H. Kale and The Globalisation and Development Centre, Bond University, 2011.


Past research suggests that concrete ad stimuli generate more imagery than abstract stimuli. However, this finding may not be culturally universal. Our research suggests that East Asians tend to generate more imagery than Westerners when exposed to abstract advertising messages, but these differences in imagery generation tend to subside when both cultural groups are exposed to concrete stimuli. Exposure to abstract stimuli while limiting mental resources results in narrowing the differences in number of images generated by Westerners and East Asians as does providing subjects with instructions to imagine.