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The Distinct Influence of Cognitive Busyness and Need for Closure on Cultural Differences in Socially Desirable Responding



Research suggests that cognitive busyness and need for closure have similar effects on a host of consumer phenomena, leading some researchers to treat the two variables as substitutes. We propose that cognitive busyness and need for closure have distinct roots and can have different effects. We examine their distinction in the context of cultural differences in the two types of socially desirable responding – impression management and self-deceptive enhancement. Our findings indicate that high (vs. low) cognitive busyness weakens the relationship between culture and impression management, but not that between culture and self-deceptive enhancement. In contrast, high (vs. low) need for closure strengthens both relationships. The article concludes with a discussion of the theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of these findings.

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