Yan WU

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)


Marketing and International Business

First Advisor

Prof. Zhou Lianxi

Second Advisor

Dr. Patrick Poon


This study examines the effects of individuals' beliefs about persuasion tactics (i.e., persuasion knowledge) evoked in an advertisement on their attitudes toward the advertisement and the advertised brand. Drawing on persuasion knowledge theory, this thesis develops a conceptual model that argues how ad image incongruence, defined as an inappropriate match-up between model type (western versus local) and advertised product category (western product category versus local product category) featured in advertisements, leads to the use of persuasion knowledge, which in turn affects attitudinal evaluations. A series of experimental studies were conducted. The results suggest that individual’s use of persuasion knowledge mediates the effect of ad image incongruence on ad attitude.

This research contributes to a better understanding of the effectiveness of advertisements in a globalized marketing communication context. First, it empirically investigates how people react to different ad appeals by using persuasion knowledge. Second, it tests the moderating role of ad skepticism which then offers implications to the extension of persuasion knowledge theory. Further, it has managerial implications by identifying conditions when and why local vs. western culture ad positioning strategies tend to be more effective. Convenience students sample was used in two experimental search studies. Additional survey was conducted to test the conceptual model directly and to complement the results of experimental studies. Limitations will be discussed.

Recommended Citation

Wu, Y. (2009). "Seeing is believing?": A persuasion knowledge model on attitudinal evaluations in advertisements (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from

Included in

Marketing Commons