Inductively Versus Deductively Structured Product Descriptions: Effects on Chinese and Western Readers

Qian Li*, Joyce Karreman, Menno D.T. de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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This study examines the effects of inductively versus deductively organized product descriptions on Chinese and Western readers. It uses a 2 × 3 experimental design with text structure (inductive versus deductive) and cultural background (Chinese living in China, Chinese living in the Netherlands, and Westerners) as independent variables and recall, reading time, and readers’ opinions as dependent variables. Participants read a product description that explained two refrigerator types and then recommended which one to purchase. The results showed that Chinese readers rated readability and persuasiveness higher when the text was structured inductively whereas Western readers rated these aspects equally high for the inductively and deductively structured text. The results suggest that culturally preferred organizing principles do not affect readers’ ability to read and understand texts but that these principles might affect their opinions about the texts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-363
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of business and technical communication
Issue number4
Early online date24 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • deductive structure
  • inductive structure
  • reading
  • user opinions
  • cross-cultural communication


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