Cultural Effects On Subjective Preference- Cross-Cultural Study between Korea and Japan

Kun Pyo Lee, Akira Harada

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The goal of this paper is to find how culture exerts influences on subjective preference. Total 42 housewives, 20 from Korea and 22 from Japan participated in the experiment which was conducted by computer-aided survey. A series of 27 questions consisted of 7 cultural variables was given to subjects to find out their basic cultural characteristics of both countries. Subjects also evaluated their subjective preferences against 16 different types of microwave ovens, each of which is consisted of different features and levels. The preference data was analyzed by Conjoint Analysis and relative importance of each feature and utility functions of each level were found out. The result from Conjoint Analysis showed that Korean places most value on layout of control buttons whereas Japanese think skin color as most important attributes. The difference was also found in the perception of brand: Korean put more importance on brand than Japanese. Depth of interface structure was also shown to have different importance between both countries. The results from conjoint analysis and cultural variables were compared to identify the relationship between cultural characteristic and subjective preference. Cultural characteristics were found to have significant relationship with subjective preference. Korean who are more affective, particularistic, ascribing, and externalistic in their cultural characteristic were shown to have a tendency of preferring colorful skin, dynamic layout, and brand. However, in the mean time, Japanese subjects who are more neutral, universalistic, achieving, and internalistic in their cultural characteristic tended to have preference in white skin, grid layout, and lock function. This result shows that cultural characteristic does play a role in forming subjective preference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalKANSEI Engineering International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Culture
  • Subjective preference
  • Conjoint Analysis


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