A Cross-Cultural Comparative Study of Users’ Perceptions of a Webpage: With a Focus on the Cognitive Styles of Chinese, Koreans and Americans
Ying Dong, Kun-pyo Lee
This study aims to reveal the relationship between cognitive style and webpage perception. In particular, webpage perception of people with different cognitive styles is compared. Based on Nisbett’s cognitive model of holistic and analytic thought, this study hypothesizes that differences between holistic thought and analytic thought can be reflected in webpage perception. Working with this hypothesis, an experiment was carried out involving Chinese, Korean, and American participants. The users’ eye movements, which can provide specific information about their cognitive processes, were recorded while browsing different language versions of a webpage prototype. In the end, the hypothesis of this study was supported. Findings from the analysis suggest that the Chinese, Korean, and American participants employed different viewing patterns when viewing the webpage, revealing a positive relationship with Nisbett’s cognitive theory. Given that cognitive differences exist among holistically-minded people and analytically-minded people, it is suggested that webpage design should be carried out according to the target audience’s specific cognitive style in order to enhance perception and usage of a webpage.
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