2004
Volume 40, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1384-6930
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7286

Abstract

When do we describe an experience with a product concretely, and when abstractly?Language abstraction in communication about products

When do we describe an experience with a product concretely, and when abstractly?Language abstraction in communication about products

A main property of language is its abstractness, and language abstraction is a valuable and useful communication signal which can be used by communicators to optimize their interactions. Research on language abstraction has primarily been focused on the language that is used to describe (interpersonal) behavior, while limited attention has been given to communication about inanimate objects. This paper found a systematic pattern in the use of language abstraction in descriptions of objects: experiences with products that are congruent with the attitude of the sender towards a product are communicated more abstractly than attitude incongruent experiences. More specifically, negative experiences with products are communicated more abstractly by people with an unfavorable (vs. favorable) product attitude, while positive experiences are communicated more concretely by consumers with an unfavorable (vs. favorable) product attitude.

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/content/journals/10.5117/2012.040.002.191
2012-06-01
2021-11-28
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