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The affective and cognitive components of country image : Perceptions of American products in Kuwait

Amro A. Maher (College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)
Larry L. Carter (Woodbury College of Business, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, USA)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 1 November 2011




The purpose of this paper is to utilize the BIAS map from the social psychology literature to operationalize and simultaneously examine the effects of the affective and cognitive components of country image.


The researchers collected survey data using a snowball sample of undergraduates from a prominent university in Kuwait. The final sample consisted of 410 Kuwaitis who were 18 years or older; 52 percent of the respondents were female.


The results of this study confirmed that affective country attitudes (i.e. contempt and admiration) relate to Kuwaitis’ willingness to buy American products. The results also support the conclusion that warmth and competence are positively related to admiration but negatively related to contempt.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should identify situations in which the affective dimensions of country image play the more dominant role in consumer decision making. The model should also be tested across other cultural samples to increase the generalizability of these results.

Practical implications

Managers must correctly prioritize the affective and cognitive components of country image, in order to either emphasize or downplay the country of origin, or when deciding to use foreign branding strategies.


This study provides a theoretical foundation for differentiating between the cognitive and affective components of country image and differentiates between the various dimensions of each of these components. The study further enables managers to determine whether country affect or cognition is the main driver of country‐of‐origin perceptions.



Maher, A.A. and Carter, L.L. (2011), "The affective and cognitive components of country image : Perceptions of American products in Kuwait", International Marketing Review, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 559-580.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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