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Diagnosticity of Masculinity and Femininity in Processing Advertising Messages
Unformatted Document Text:  8 feminine and non-feminine ad appeals, Chang (2000a) has indicated that ad-self congruency effects emerge when individuals’ femininity is congruent with the portrayed product users. Drawing upon Bem’s (1981) gender schema theory, this paper argues that individuals who vary in their self-ratings on the personality dimensions of masculinity and femininity respond to information in different manners. That is, individuals are more responsive to information that positively correlates with their self-concepts. Also, acknowledging the weakness of Bem’s categorization of individuals into only groups, sex-typed and non-sex-typed, this study will adopt Markus, et al.’s (1982) perspectives to classify individuals into masculine, feminine, androgynous, and undifferentiated groups, and to argue that individuals in these four different groups will evaluate ads only on the basis of the ad-self-congruency on the dimension or dimensions that well describe themselves. In other words, only the personality dimension that well describes subjects’ self-concepts is diagnostic when they evaluate ads. As a result, subjects scoring high on both masculinity and femininity will generate different responses to an ad depending on the degree of ad-self-congruency with regard to both masculinity and femininity. Subjects scoring high on masculinity and low on femininity will generate different ad evaluations as a function of the degree of ad-self-congruency concerning masculinity only. Subjects scoring low on masculinity and high on femininity will generate different ad evaluations as a function of the degree of ad-self-congruency with regard to femininity only. Finally, for subjects scoring low on both masculinity and femininity, neither the degree of ad-self-congruency pertaining to masculinity, nor the degree of ad-self-congruency pertaining to femininity, are diagnostic in their ad judgments and, therefore, neither will affect their ad evaluations. Hypothesis 1: Ad-self-congruency will affect ad attitudes: (a) for subjects who score high on masculinity and high on femininity,

Authors: Chang, Chingching.
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8
feminine and non-feminine ad appeals, Chang (2000a) has indicated that ad-self congruency
effects emerge when individuals’ femininity is congruent with the portrayed product users.
Drawing upon Bem’s (1981) gender schema theory, this paper argues that individuals who
vary in their self-ratings on the personality dimensions of masculinity and femininity respond to
information in different manners. That is, individuals are more responsive to information that
positively correlates with their self-concepts. Also, acknowledging the weakness of Bem’s
categorization of individuals into only groups, sex-typed and non-sex-typed, this study will adopt
Markus, et al.’s (1982) perspectives to classify individuals into masculine, feminine,
androgynous, and undifferentiated groups, and to argue that individuals in these four different
groups will evaluate ads only on the basis of the ad-self-congruency on the dimension or
dimensions that well describe themselves.
In other words, only the personality dimension that well describes subjects’ self-concepts is
diagnostic when they evaluate ads. As a result, subjects scoring high on both masculinity and
femininity will generate different responses to an ad depending on the degree of
ad-self-congruency with regard to both masculinity and femininity. Subjects scoring high on
masculinity and low on femininity will generate different ad evaluations as a function of the
degree of ad-self-congruency concerning masculinity only. Subjects scoring low on
masculinity and high on femininity will generate different ad evaluations as a function of the
degree of ad-self-congruency with regard to femininity only. Finally, for subjects scoring low
on both masculinity and femininity, neither the degree of ad-self-congruency pertaining to
masculinity, nor the degree of ad-self-congruency pertaining to femininity, are diagnostic in their
ad judgments and, therefore, neither will affect their ad evaluations.
Hypothesis 1: Ad-self-congruency will affect ad attitudes:
(a) for subjects who score high on masculinity and high on femininity,


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