Marketing researchers and managers are interested in understanding how consumers utilize country‐of‐origin (COO) information in evaluating foreign products. Argues that factors operating at the individual consumer’s psychological level may offer additional insight into how consumers process COO information. Hypothesizes that individual differences in their tendency to evaluate product information may influence the effect of COO. Specifically, when a consumer’s need for cognition (NFC) is low, COO is more influential in that consumer’s product evaluation. Favourable COO may lead to more positive product evaluation than less favourable COO. However, when consumer NFC is high, product evaluation is influenced primarily by the persuasive strength of the attribute arguments rather than by COO. The results suggest that the difference in consumer NFC indeed moderated the COO effect. Consumers who were less predisposed to evaluate attribute information were more susceptible to the influence of COO, while consumers who were more willing to process information were more influenced by specific attribute argument. Discusses implications of the findings in the light of a firm’s sourcing and marketing strategies.
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