In an era of ever-decreasing survey response rates and attention spans of respondents, this study brought good news for advertising research. The authors assessed the quality of research comparing studies that used single-item measures (the method of choice by practitioner researchers) with those that used multiple items to measure advertising effectiveness (preferred by academics).
Practitioners often strive to shorten rather than lengthen their surveys, because the greater the number of questions, the more expensive the research and the increased risk for respondent boredom and abandonment of the survey. Academics favor the rigor of multiple items.
But what is the best research practice when constructs — such as brand attitude, attitude toward the ad, and attitude toward behaviors — are double concrete, meaning, they have a clear, singular meaning in which the object being rated also is clear and singularly identifiable?
The authors’ research validates the single-item measurement approach.
Among Ang’s and Eisend’s the takeaways:
- Using the results of 189 advertising studies, there was no difference in effect sizes “when the double-concrete dependent variables were measured with single or multiple items, which means data collection is more efficient and less ”
- If a construct has a clear and singular meaning and the object being rated also is clear and identifiable, then a single valid item is all that is needed.
Ang, L., & Eisend, M. (2018, August). Single versus Multiple Measurement of Attitudes. Journal of Advertising Research.