"I am sorry to send you SPAM": Cross-cultural differences in use of apologies in email advertising in Korea and the U.S.

Hee Sun Park, Hye Eun Lee, Jeong An Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

A series of studies investigating cultural differences in apology usage in unsolicited email advertising messages (i.e., SPAM) are reported. Study 1 documented that in comparison to American SPAM, a greater percentage of Korean SPAM included apologies. The next five studies (Ns = 516, 3132, 662, 524, 536) tested various explanations for cross-cultural differences in uses of, and responses to, apologies. Findings indicated that advertising messages containing apologies were not necessarily more effective than advertising messages without apologies. Koreans, however, considered advertising messages with apologies as more credible and normal and exhibited a greater tendency to model other people's apology use than did Americans. Thus, the frequent presence of apologies in Korean unsolicited email advertising is likely to be based on Koreans' modeling behavior (i.e., a greater tendency to follow social norms).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-398
Number of pages34
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2005

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