Palm or Cell? Comparing Personal Digital Assistants and Cell Phones for Experience Sampling Research

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kari Eddington (Creator)
Thomas R. Kwapil, Associate Professor (Creator)
Paul Silvia, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Personal digital assistants (PDA), particularly Palm Pilots, are popular data collection devices in experience sampling research. The declining availability of such devices, however, has prompted researchers to explore alternative technologies for signaling participants and collecting responses. The present research considers interactive voice response (IVR) methods, which can deliver questions and collect data using common cell phones. Participants completed an experience sampling study using either a PDA (n = 428) or a cell phone under three different conditions (IVR condition n= 98; IVR Callback condition n = 93; IVR Callback Comeback condition n = 94). We found that response rates were higher when people used PDAs (69%) than when they used their cell phones (IVR condition = 51%), but response rates increased when people could call back within a few minutes of missing a signal (IVR Callback condition = 58%) and had a face-to-face meeting with a researcher midweek (IVR Callback Comeback = 64%). The daily life ratings were similar across the conditions. The findings are encouraging for researchers interested in using IVR cell phone methods for ecological momentary assessment, but more work is needed to develop procedures or incentives that increase response rates.

Additional Information

Social Science Computer Review, 31(2), 244-251
Language: English
Date: 2013
experience sampling, ecological momentary assessment, interactive voice response, personal digital assistants

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