Presentation of the ACR Fellow in Consumer Behavior Award

Joseph W. Newman, University of Arizona
[ to cite ]:
Joseph W. Newman (1986) ,"Presentation of the ACR Fellow in Consumer Behavior Award", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, eds. Richard J. Lutz, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 4-5.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, 1986      Pages 4-5


Joseph W. Newman, University of Arizona

I have a very happy task today. I have been asked to speak for the Association in presenting its Fellow in Consumer Behavior award. This is especially pleasant for me because the awards go to two individuals I have known, respected and enjoyed for a good many years -- as I know many of you have.

Before saying more about the recipients, let me briefly remind you that the Fellow award is the Association's highest honor. It recognizes individuals who, in their careers, have had a major impact on consumer behavior scholarship.

The selection process began two years ago with the Awards Committee. The members were the then three immediate past presidents of the Association: Jerry Olson, Ken Bernhardt and Jerry Zaltman. I was named by the then president, Jagdish Sheth. to chair the committee.

Nominations were solicited from the membership but attention was not limited to suggestions from that source. She committee easily reached complete agreement. Our recommendations later were unanimously endorsed by the Board of directors.

Prior to today, five Fellow awards have been made-- to John Howard and James Engle in 1980 and to Sidney J. Levy, Geroge Katona and Robert Ferber in 1982. Today we welcome William D. Wells and Harold H. Kassarjian into that elite circle.

In my remarks, I shall be brief -- too brief, really, to do justice to the recipients. But I must allow time for them to carry out their speaking assignments which will follow the presentations.

Bill and Hal have much in common, so I can start by talking about both of them at once. Both are psychologists who ventured into marketing. They did so at a time when such behavior was regarded as radical at best by psychologists and marketers alike. Fortunately, these skeptical views thawed over time to allow Bill and Hal to survive and, later, prosper. They became leaders in the study of consumer behavior and the promulgation of behavioral concepts and knowledge.

Both have held important positions in the American Marketing Association ant the American Psychological Association. Both were elected Fellows of the American Psychological Association in 1972.

Both have been key figures in the formation and growth of the Association for Consumer Research and both have served as its president.

Both have ably performed in a number of roles -- as researcher, writer, editor, speaker, consultant and stimulating professional colleague.

Both are serious scholars but neither takes himself too seriously. While their styles differ, both are known for a keen sense of humor. And for the helpfulness and respect that has characterized their many interchanges with others.

I have decided to talk about Bill first because of his seniority. While he looks young, the fact is that he got his doctorate earlier than did Hal.


Bill Wells is a man for whom one career was not enough. He has lived two -- one in academics and one in business.

He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University in 1954. He then joined the Psychology Faculty at Rutgers University where he taught for 12 years. During that time, he learned marketing as a key consultant to Benton and Bowles, Inc., one of the first advertising agencies to develop a prominent interdisciplinary research group. In that role, Bill developed new research techniques, helped put together one of the first computer simulations of a consumer product market, and began his pioneering research on consumer life styles.

From 1966 to 1974, he was Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Chicago. Concurrently, he continued working in the business world, serving Leo Burnett Company, Market Facts, the Federal Trade Commission and others. In 1974, he joined the organization now known as Needham, Harper Worldwide where he now is Executive Vice President and Director of Marketing Services.

Bill has been on the policy board for the Journal of Consumer Research and currently is on its Editorial Board. He also is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Marketing and is a former member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Marketing Research.

Many of you know Bill best for his writings. He has authored more than 30 articles in psychological and marketing journals; 10 chapters in various books; and more than 40 research papers presented at professional conferences. A number of his works are considered landmarks in the field and have been widely cited and reprinted.

In the 1950's, Bill was one of the first persons to study and write about product images.

In the 1960's, his publications showed his keen interest in improving research methodology. They included these titles:

"The Influence of Yeasaying Response Style"

"Measuring Readiness to Buy"

"Hidden Errors in Survey Data"

"Computer Simulation of Consumer Behavior"

"Recognition, Recall and Rating Scales"

"Communicating with Children"

"Direct Observation of Purchasing Behavior"

Prominent among his articles in the late 1960's and the 1970's were the following:

"The Life Cycle Concept in Marketing Research"

"Patterns of Consumer Behavior"

"Activities, Interests and Opinions"

"Psychographics: A Critical Review"

"The Modern Feminine Life Style"

In 1975, Bill addressed the effects of a major medium in his monograph on Television ant Aggression. A year later, his book, Life Style and Psychographics, advanced thought and methodology on market segmentation. In 1977, he coauthored a consumer behavior textbook.

Bill has contributed much to understanding of many important topics. In so doing, he has shown unusual creativity, rigorous concern with reliability and validity of data, depth of thought and superb skills as a communicator.

Bill, if you will come up here, I will give you a plaque. It is inscribed as follows:

The Association for Consumer Research presents its Fellow in Consumer Behavior award to William D. Wells for his pioneering research, writing and teaching in consumer behavior.


When Hal Kassarjian earned his Ph.D. in 1960, he found that universities were not looking for social psychologists. So he took a job with a marketing research firm. A little later, he sought a faculty position, this time in marketing rather than psychology. UCLA hired Hal who became a lone psychologist in a department of economists. Over time, things changed. Hal led development of the department into the position of preeminence it now enjoys.

Along the way, he chaired 18 dissertation committees for doctoral students, many of whom are now well known members of ACR.

Hal discovered very early that he liked to see his name in print. He confesses that he still does. He also likes to speak. Those likings, along with intellectual curiosity, have led to more than 50 published articles, chapters in books, books, and research papers. He also has presented more than 100 unpublished papers at professional conference and university colloquia.

Contrary to what you might expect, Hal's early publications were not based on his dissertation, but on his wife's. She had written on Riesman's theory of Inner and Outer Direction. She and Hal collaborated on several papers on that subject.

I shall mention the titles of a few of Hal's articles because they have been particularly widely cited and reprinted. The titles:

"Riesman Revisited," an article which helped stimulate research on the relationship of personality to consumer behavior.

"Personality and Consumer Behavior," an article written six years later to put what Hal regarded to be a timely end to research in that stream.

"Social Character and Differential Preference for Mass Communication

"Cognitive Dissonance and Consumer Behavior, which received Honorable Mention in the 1966 McKinsey Awards

"The Negro and American Advertising"

"Content Analysis in Consumer Behavior'

The last two articles helped stimulate research on minorities and the role of women as portrayed in mass media.

Hal addressed a number of other topics: social values and consumer behavior-voting behavior; federal regulation of advertising, consumer behavior theory; low involvement; the integration of behavioral science into marketing; and the teaching of consumer behavior. He has written on survey research, projective methods, opinion measurement, and market segmentation techniques.

In the 1960's, a few universities started to offer courses in consumer behavior. Textual material was scarce, so Hal, with Tom Robertson, put together a book of readings entitled Perspectives in Consumer Behavior. It has continued to be widely respected and used in its subsequent editions. Later Hal, with Peter Bennett, co-authored a consumer behavior text.

As you can see, Hal has ranged widely within consumer behavior. In so doing, he acquired a perspective valuable in his editorial work. He has served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, California Management Review, and Journal of Consumer Affairs. In 1982, he became Co-Editor of the Journal of Consumer Research. He is well known for the care he takes in writing constructive comments to authors. And for his skill in composing rejection letters which leave the recipients feeling as badly for the editor as for themselves.

No comment on Hal would be complete without recognizing his role as a perceptive, articulate spokesman for our profession. He has made it difficult for us to become either complacent or presumptions. For example, take his presidential address in 1977 when our field was preoccupied with elaborate consumer decision models. He reminded us that, after all, the world is full of insignificant consumer decisions and that for them we probably do not need a grand theory of behavior. He has shown great sensitivity and appreciation in recognizing contributions of others as he did so eloquently in presenting the first Fellow in Consumer Behavior awards in 1980 and in his eulogy for Robert Ferber in 1982. He can express so well feelings we share. In a real sense, he has represented the conscience of the field of consumer behavior and of the Association.

Hal, will you come forward. The inscription on your plaque reads:

The Association for Consumer Research presents its Fellow in Consumer Behavior award to Harold H. Kassarjian for his scholarly contributions to consumer behavior as researcher, teacher and editor.