International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Research Methods: What Is Experience Sampling?

06/01/2019
by Talya Greene, PhD
In recent years, there has been a steep rise in the number of experience sampling methodology (ESM) studies including in the field of traumatic stress (Chun, 2016). ESM-style studies go by many different and often interchangeable names: daily diary, ecological momentary assessment (EMA), ambulatory assessment, proximal intensive assessment and intensive longitudinal assessment methods, among others. What these studies usually have in common is that participants typically provide data at least once a day over a particular time period on their symptoms, emotions and behaviors as they occur in the participants’ daily lives and natural environments. Mobile technology has made this kind of data collection more feasible and reliable, and ESM studies now use SMS, email or dedicated smartphone apps to contact participants and prompt them to provide data.

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