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Cognitive discrepancy in Chinese “face”: Mian and lian, and their impact on cognition of country-of-origin image


Chinese “face,” as a complex social and psychological phenomenon, has attracted much attention from the fields of sociology and psychology. However, in the field of consumer behavior, research about how mianzi (face) affects consumer behavior is lacking. Moreover, research on the connotations of sub-dimension of mianzi (face), that is, lian and mian as well as their influences on consumer behavior is seldom seen. Based on the grounded theory, using focus group interviews and the self-report method, this study extracted scenario sentences of lian and mian, initially forming a preliminary scale with 14 positive items and 20 negative items concerning lian and mian. Moreover, by using close-ended questionnaire originated from previous grounded theory in terms of Chinese face, this study validated the discrepancy between “mian” and “lian.” Besides the discrepancy between “mian” and “lian” also appeared in consumer perception about product category and country-of-origin image.


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Correspondence to Zhuomin Shi.

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  • Chinese face
  • mian
  • lian
  • cognitive discrepancy
  • country of origin image