Consumers' memory research article wins JCP publication award

PhD graduate Daniel Fernandes and Prof. Stefano Puntoni from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and two co-authors received the C.W. Park Award for Outstanding Contribution for their paper published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology (JCP). The article is based on Fernandes’ dissertation about the effectiveness of reminders. The award was announced at the annual conference of the Society for Consumer Psychology (SCP) in Savannah, Georgia, USA in March 2019.

The C.W. Park Award is a prestigious honour in our subfield of consumer behaviour, and an important one in the field of marketing as a whole.

The JCP article, When and why we forget to buy, which is based on Daniel Fernandes’ dissertation from RSM, is written by Dr Daniel Fernandes, Prof. Stefano Puntoni (RSM), Prof. Stijn M.J. van Osselaer (Cornell University), and Prof. Elizabeth Cowley (University of Sydney Business School). Fernandes’ dissertation also won the Emerald/EFMD Doctoral Research Award 2015 for the best dissertation in the management category.

The selection committee consisted of chair Prof. Derek Rucker (Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University), Prof. Susan Broniarczyk (McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas) and Dr Leonard Lee (NUS Business School, National University of Singapore), as well as SCP President Prof. Andrea Morales (W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University). They recognised the researchers’ exceptional contribution to the marketing research field.

This award, which was endowed by a generous donation by SCP Fellow C.W. Park, recognises the best paper published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology in a given year. This year’s award and honorable mention came from volume 26 of JCP, which are the 2016 issues.


The researchers examined consumers’ tendency to forget to buy items they intended to buy. They show that the propensity to forget depends on the types of items consumers intend to purchase and the way people shop. Consumers may shop using a memory-based search by recalling their planned purchases from memory and directly searching for the products. For example, consumers may use the search function at an online store.

Alternatively, consumers may use a stimulus-based search by systematically moving through a store, visually scanning the inventory and selecting the required items as they are encountered.

Using an online shopping paradigm, the research shows that consumers are more likely to forget the items they infrequently buy when using the memory-based search, but not when using the stimulus-based search. In fact, when using the stimulus-based search, consumers are sometimes even better able to remember the items they infrequently (versus frequently) buy. Moreover, consumers fail to take these factors into account when predicting their memory. As a result, they do not take appropriate actions to prevent forgetting such as using a shopping list.

Dr Daniel Fernandes

Dr Daniel Fernandes obtained his PhD in marketing at RSM in 2013. He is now an assistant professor of marketing at Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics, Universidade Católica Portuguesa. He focuses on transformative consumer research and includes consumers' memory, planning, financial literacy, decision-making, self-regulation and political ideology. He also investigates the role of financial knowledge on financial decision-making and the factors that explain this relationship.

Daniel studies consumers' memory and when reminders help consumers to complete their tasks. He was a visiting research scholar at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado-Boulder, in 2010.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

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