Extant U.S. research shows that when a persuader’s initial message is rebuffed, the next requesting message will tend to be ruder and more aggressive than the initial appeal. The robustness of these results has rarely been tested cross-culturally. Using conversational constraints theory, we further explicate implicit theories by investigating the perceived importance of constraints of re-requesting styles across two cultural-linguistic groups (i.e., Korean and American English speakers). Consistent with the “rebuff phenomenon,” results revealed that people rated the task constraint (“clarity”) as significantly more important, and the three face-related constraints (“concern for the other’s feelings,” “minimizing imposition,” and “avoiding negative evaluation”) as significantly less important for the second-attempt requesting than for the initial requesting. Some of these tendencies were more pronounced among American English speakers than among Korean speakers.
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