Research Interests: applied statistics, education, forecasting, marketing, marketing research, organizational behavior, peer review, persuasion and advertising, public policy, scientific method, social responsibility and irresponsibility, strategic planning
Objectives and strategy: 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 to identify management principles and techniques. In April 2015, he was the subject of an “Alain Elkann interview of thought leaders” on why his approach to research often leads to surprising findings.
Research Findings: Armstrong has been associated with colleagues in developing and testing 91 useful findings for 17 areas, including: market-share objectives harm profits, formal planning improves profitability, mandatory disclaimers harm consumers, mandated programs for corporate social responsibility are detrimental, high remuneration for CEOs harm stockholders, and peer review by scientific journals slows scientific development.). He also 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 the conclusion that there is no scientific forecast to support the hypothesis of dangerous manmade global warming, and to his bet with former Vice President Al Gore (see theclimatebet.com). (The complete list of findings is on his resume.) Despite many counterintuitive findings in his studies, no substantive errors have been discovered . . . yet.
Research impact: Scholars often read and use Armstrong’s research. In April 2016, his Google Scholar Citations numbered over 28,000 with an h-score of 65, and 154 papers with ten or more cites. In addition, the Social Science Research Network’s measure of “impact on researchers” put him in the top 0.1% of roughly 330,000 researchers listed on the site in 2017. Google News lists 200 articles related to his research. He has testified before a U.S. Senate committee and a U.S. House Committee on issues related to global warming. Armstrong’s papers and books are widely read. There are about 85,000 downloads of his papers per year from the Scholarly Commons, and he is in the top 0.4% for annual downloads from the SSRN.
Publications: Research Gate lists about 400 publications for Armstrong. He authored Long-Range Forecasting and the Principles of Forecasting Handbook. His book, Persuasive Advertising, was a finalist for the American Marketing Association’s “Best Book in Marketing” in 2011.
Founder: He is a cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting, International Journal of Forecasting, International Institute of Forecasters, International Symposium on Forecasting, and PollyVote.com. The latter has provided the most accurate forecasts for U.S. Presidential elections since its launch in the 2004 election. He founded ForecastingPrinciples.com and AdvertisingPrinciples.com, as ways of learning about evidence-based principles and techniques via the Internet. The advertising site received MERLOT’s 2004 award as the “Best Internet Site in Business Education” and it is ranked #1 of the 286 advertising sites reviewed by MERLOT. In 2016, Kesten Green and he founded the Iron Law of Regulation Website, an evidence-based approach to to summarize experimental evidence on the effect of regulations on the general welfare.
Educational background and experience:
M.I.T., Cambridge, MA: Ph.D. in Management (1968)
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA: M.S. in Industrial Administration (1965)
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA: B.A. in Applied Science (1959), and B.S. in Industrial Engineering (1960)
He has been on the Wharton School faculty since 1968. He has also been a “Research Adjunct” at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide since 2011.
He has had 24 international visiting appointments at 17 universities. These include 1.5 years at the Stockholm School of Economics in 1974-5 and one year at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland during 1980-1. He has given over 110 invited lectures at universities in 28 countries outside the U.S.
Recognition and awards:
April 17, 2017
J. Scott Armstrong and Kesten C. Green, Forecasting Methods and Principles: Evidence-Based Checklists.
Description: Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science, 28, (2018), 103-159.
J. Scott Armstrong and K.C. Green (Working), Guidelines for Science: Evidence and Checklists.
Andreas Graefe, J. Scott Armstrong, Randall J. Jones Jr. Alfred G. Cuzán (2017), The 2016 Pollyvote Popular Vote Forecast: A Preliminary Analysis, PS: Political Science and Politics.
Andreas Graefe, J. Scott Armstrong, Randall J. Jones Jr. Alfred G. Cuzán, Assessing the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Popular Vote Forecasts.
J. Scott Armstrong, Andreas Graefe, R. J. Jones, Jr. A.G. Cuzan (2016), ‘The PollyVote Forecast for the 2016 American Presidential Election’, PS: Political Science & Politics, 49 (4), pp. 687-690. 10.1017/S1049096516001281
J. Scott Armstrong, K.C. Green, Andreas Graefe (2016), Golden Rule of Forecasting Rearticulated: Forecast unto Others as You Would Have Them Forecast Unto You, Journal of Business Research, 68, pp. 1768-1771.
K.C. Green, J. Scott Armstrong, Rui Du, Andreas Graefe (2016), Persuasion Principles Index, European Journal of Marketing, 50, pp. 317-326.
J. Scott Armstrong, Rui Du, Kesten C. Green, Andreas Graefe (2016), Predictive Validity of Evidence-Based Persuasion Principles, European Journal of Marketing, 50, pp. 276-293.
J. Scott Armstrong (Working), Do econometric models provide more accurate forecasts when they are more conservative? A test of political economy models for forecasting elections.
Can Science Improve Advertising
Examination of the marketing aspects of products or services exclusive of their promotion, pricing or distribution. Focuses on decisions regarding product introduction, positioning, improvements, and deletion, and the tools available for making these decisions.
Immersion in the advertising development process and examination of the practice of advertising. Focuses on decisions regarding advertising objectives, copy selection, budget setting and media selection.
This course focuses on advertising via all media - print, digital, video, TV, Internet, etc. Emphasis is placed on understanding the communication development process and consumer behavior (psychology), the measurement and evaluation of advertising effects, and developing appropriate media plans.
Scott Armstrong was a recipient of this award – along with Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman – in November, 2000 in Orlando.
The Silver Jubilee Lecturer for the 25th anniversary celebration of the College of Business at Massey University in New Zealand, October 1997. His talk was "Management Science: What Does It Have to Do with Management or Science?" Marketing Bulletin, 9 (May 1998), 1-15.
One of the first six Honorary Fellows for “distinguished contributions to forecasting,” International Institute of Forecasters, 1996.
Refers to the Green and Armstrong paper on mandatory dislaimers.
Talk given in Houston, July 14, 2013 at the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Conference.
This letter drew in 2539 responses to the WSJ online version.
A letter to the editor regarding government spending on global warming policies.
Philip J. Hilts (2003), "Epilogue: Greed and Goodness," Protecting America’s Health: The FDA, Business, and One Hundred Years of Regulation, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Full Text – Refers to J. Scott Armstrong (1977), "Social Irresponsibility in Management"