J. Scott Armstrong
Professor of Marketing
Research Interests: forecasting, marketing, marketing research, persuasion and advertising, scientific method, peer review, social responsibility and irresponsibility , strategic planning, education, applied statistics, organizational behavior, public policy
Following Benjamin Franklin’s objectives for the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Armstrong strives to discover and disseminate useful knowledge. He uses experimental evidence to compare alternative reasonable hypotheses in order to identify improvements for management principles and techniques.
In April 2015, he was the subject of an Alain Elkann Interview on why his approach to research often leads to counterintuitive findings. To Armstrong’s knowledge, none of his counterintuitive findings have been found to be in error –so far.
Despite his contrarian findings. scholars often use Armstrong’s research. His Google Scholar Citations numbered over 22,000 as of July 2015, with an h-score of 57. In 1989, he was ranked 15th among marketing professors in the U.S. based on an index using peer ratings, citations, and publications (Kirkpatrick & Locke 1989). The Social Science Research Network’s measure of “impact on researchers” put him in the top 0.1% of roughly 250,000 authors listed on the site in July 2015.
Armstrong has been associated with many colleagues in developing and testing 73 useful findings for management (e.g., market-share objectives harm profits, formal planning improves profitability, mandatory disclaimers harm consumers, mandated programs for corporate social responsibility are detrimental, high salaries for CEOs harm stockholders, and peer review by scientific journals slows scientific development.). He developed and tested “Extrapolation-by-Waves” (the widely-used method to correct for nonresponse bias in surveys), the Forecasting Audit, the Seer-Sucker Theory, the Index Method, the Golden Rule of Forecasting, and the Persuasion Principles Index.
His research on forecasting climate change led to his bet with former Vice President Al Gore (see theclimatebet.com). He has testified before a U.S. Senate committee and a U.S. House Committee on issues related to global warming.
His papers and books are widely read. There are about 85,000 downloads of his papers per year from the Scholarly Commons alone. In addition, He is in the top 0.4% for annual downloads from the SSRN.
He is a co-founder of the Journal of Forecasting, the International Journal of Forecasting, the International Institute of Forecasters, the International Symposium on Forecasting, ForecastingPrinciples.com, and PollyVote.com. The latter has provided the most accurate forecasts for U.S. Presidential elections since its launch in the 2004 election. For more on his career in forecasting, see this Interview.
Armstrong authored Long-Range Forecasting, and the Principles of Forecasting Handbook. His book, Persuasive Advertising, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2010, was a finalist for the American Marketing Association’s “Best Book in Marketing” in 2011. It is supported by his AdPrin.com, which received MERLOT’s 2004 award as the “Best Internet Site in Business Education.” Currently it is #1 of the 267 advertising sites covered by MERLOT.
A member of the Wharton Marketing Faculty since 1968, Professor Armstrong received his PhD in Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his MS in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, and BS and BA degrees in Industrial Engineering and Applied Science from Lehigh University.
He has had 24 international visiting appointments at 17 universities. These include 1.5 years at the Stockholm School of Economics between 1974-5, and one year at IMEDE (now IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland during 1980-1. In addition, he has given over 110 invited lectures at universities in 28 countries outside the U.S.
In 1996, he was selected as one of the first six Honorary Fellows by the International Institute of Forecasters. In 2000, he was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award by the Society for Marketing Advances. In 2010, he was listed as one of the “25 Most Famous College Professors Teaching Today.”