The experience sampling method (ESM) is a strategy for gathering information from individuals about their experience of daily life as it occurs. The method can be used to gather both qualitative and quantitative data, with questions for participants that are tailored to the purpose of the research. It is a phenomenological approach, meaning that the individual's own thoughts, perceptions of events, and allocation of attention are the primary objects of study. In the prototypical application, participants in an ESM study are asked to carry with them for 1 week a signaling device such as an alarm wristwatch or palmtop computer and a recording device such as a booklet of questionnaires. Participants are then signaled randomly 5 to 10 times daily, and at each signal, they ...
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