The finalists for the best paper from volume 63 of the International Journal of Market Research have been announced, recognising academic and practitioner authors with affiliations in the UK as well as Australia, the Netherlands and the USA.

In TV adverts, materialism, and children’s self-esteem: The role of socio-economic status, Agnes Nairn (University of Bristol) and Suzanna J Opree (Erasmus University Rotterdam) explore a new dimension to the understanding of the role of advertising in a society with high levels of inequality. Their work found that children from affluent backgrounds were more susceptible to advertising’s reinforcing effect on materialism, whereas children from deprived background were more susceptible to materialism’s detrimental effect on self-esteem.

Are self-description scales better than agree/disagree scales? by Jerry Timbrook (RTI International) with Jolene D Smyth and Kristen Olson (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) compares survey estimates, item nonresponse and nondifferentiation across two types of scales in a mail survey. They find that SD scales outperform A/D scales for non-socially desirable questions that ask about positive topics. For questions that ask about negative topics, They find that estimates for SD items are significantly more negative than A/D items.

Kylie Brosnan (The University of Queensland), Astrid Kemperman (Eindhoven University of Technology) and Sara Dolnicar’s (The University of Queensland) Maximizing participation from online survey panel members identifies ten key drivers of panel members’ online survey participation from a qualitative study and then determines the relative importance of each of those drivers at aggregate and segment levels. Their findings offer immediate practical guidance on increasing participation in surveys using online panels.

Finally, in Measuring advertising’s effect on mental availability, authors Kelly Vaughan, Armando Maria Corsi, Virginia Beal and Byron Sharp (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science) shows that the impact of advertising on consumer memory can be observed using mental availability metrics. From a practical market research perspective, they explore how adding these metrics to existing brand health tracking will have no data collection costs where brand perceptions are already being measured.

Fellows and Certified Members can read these papers online today via the IJMR website. Other Members can request copies by emailing

The winning paper will be announced at the MRS Excellence Awards lunch on 10 June.

Get the latest MRS news

Our newsletters cover the latest MRS events, policy updates and research news.