This research investigates whether low-literate consumers process written advertisements differently than high-literate consumers do. Consistent with resource-matching theory (RMT), the first experiment reveals that, unlike high-literate processors, when low-literate processors read ads of moderate complexity, involvement with the ad does not affect processing. The second experiment extends RMT's applicability to both low- and high-literate consumers by demonstrating that low-literate processors' reading outcomes mirror those of high-literate processors when ads are written to reflect their reading capability.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was supported by a Dean’s summer research grant from Virginia Commonwealth University to Haeran Jae and a summer research appointment by the Committee on Faculty Research at Miami University to Devon DelVecchio. The authors thank adult education and literacy centers in the State of Kentucky and in the State of Virginia for their participation and encouragement in this research. Sincere gratitude is also extended to the anonymous JCP reviewers, Area Editor, and Editor C.W. Park for their helpful direction in the preparation of this manuscript.
- Low-literate consumers
- Resource-matching theory