Measure proliferation in advertising research: are standard measures the solution?

Source of Publication

International Journal of Advertising


© 2020, © 2020 Advertising Association. Recent research has found considerable measure proliferation (i.e., the same construct is measured in multiple different ways) in advertising research. Measure proliferation increases the risk of using invalid measures, may render research results incommensurable across studies, opens up for ‘p-hacking’, and causes practical problems for researchers. Standard measures of advertising constructs would solve many of these issues but raises other issues such as what criteria to rely on when developing and evaluating measures. This paper discusses problems associated with measurement proliferation, challenges when introducing standard measures, and outlines a way forward for advertising research. It is suggested that advertising research can progress towards standard measures by gradually introducing three new journal publication requirements over an extended period of time: 1) full disclosure of measurement information, 2) all measures should be formally validated, and 3) standard measures should be used in all studies (with justifiable exceptions). In addition, the paper discusses further research that would support the introduction of the new publication requirements.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Lars Bergkvist, Zayed University