Professor Qimei Chen

Chen Receives 2013 Best Article Award

Professor Qimei Chen, Jean E. Rolles Distinguished Professor of Marketing, received the 2013 Best Article Award from the Journal of Consumer Research for a paper entitled, “Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: Myths and Truths about Mediation Analysis.” The article focuses on the validity of the widely practiced theory and procedure for testing and analyzing mediator (relationship in which an independent variable affects a dependent variable) by pioneering researchers Reuben Baron and David Kenny. According to Chen, many research projects have been terminated because the data did not conform to Baron and Kenny’s criteria - impeding theoretical development. Chen and co-authors X. Zhao and J.G. Lynch present a conceptual research article of the flaws in the Baron and Kenny logic, some of which have not previously been noted. They provide a decision tree and a step-by-step procedure for testing mediation, classifying its type, and interpreting the implications of findings for theory building and future research. This may help researchers who are finding the Baron and Kenny standards for testing problematic. A recent analysis reported that this article was cited 700 times on Google Scholars and received over a hundred citations in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) in 2012. This has helped to rate the Journal of Consumer Research as the top cited journal in the marketing field.