Testing the practicality of a personal digital assistant questionnaire versus a beeper and booklet questionnaire in a random-time experience-sampling method context.
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The Random-Time Experience-Sampling Method (RTESM) has been used to examine people's subjective experience of time (experience of freedom, intrinsic motivation and affect) in particular activity contexts (what they are doing, where they are and whom they are with) as they are experiencing particular events at random times throughout the day (Larson and Csikszentmihalyi, 1983). The RTES method involves a signalling device which cues respondents (at random intervals) to evaluate and report their activities for up to 70 moments of time during a week. While many empirical studies have used electronic pagers or 'beepers' to signal respondents, advances in information technologies have led to the increasing use of computerised platforms in ESM research. This paper reports on a pilot study to examine respondent reactions and ability to complete a time use survey using two different reporting methods. Each respondent was asked to complete a time diary at random times of the day using (1) a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) (for three days) and (2) a Beeper and Booklet (B&B) (for four days). PDAs are handheld computer devices with specialised survey software for participants to electronically report time use experiences in response to signals from the PDA. The B&B method required respondents to report their time use experiences in a survey booklet when signalled at random times by a purpose-built electronic beeper. Based on positive respondent feedback on the merits of the PDA platform and the ability to download responses directly from the PDAs, a full scale RTES study of parents in dual-earner households will use this method to gather data about work-life tensions, leisure and well being in 2004 and 2005.
Annals of Leisure Research
© 2005 Australian & New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies (ANZALS). The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.