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How ExpiWell Builds Research Participant Communities for Longitudinal Research and Experience Sampling

Louis Tay
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The ability to gather data over time from participants enables researchers to understand the influence of experiences on human behavior, feelings, and perceptions. 

There are two research methodologies ExpiWell incorporates into its technology that are particularly beneficial for building participant communities and gathering insights everybody can learn from: longitudinal research and experience sampling. 

Longitudinal research typically involves long-term engagement over the course of months and years. Experience sampling typically involves short-term engagement over the course of days and weeks. Together, these two research methodologies allow researchers to better understand how phenomena change over time. 

Why longitudinal research and experience sampling help researchers understand important issues 

More researchers are interested in time-based phenomena, which can lead to rich research insights about patterns and enable researchers to make predictions based on the full picture of study variable influences. As with any research methodology, those interested in time-based phenomena can use questions to guide their inquiries: 

  • How do individuals develop physically and psychologically through the years?
  • How does adherence to a medical treatment change over weeks and months?
  • How does emotion shift during the day for individuals with depression?
  • How do people interact with products over time?
  • How do social relationships at home and at work change daily?

All of these research questions require research designs that involve assessing experiences and creating participant engagement sustained over time. 

 To deeply understand experiences, researchers are combining both approaches: tracking experiences over time (longitudinal research) while also diving into daily experiences (experience sampling) to better understand phenomena that impact participants’ everyday lives. That includes social interactions, product use, health behaviors and outcomes, or psychological development.

Why it’s challenging to build communities for longitudinal research and experience sampling 

As a social scientist and methodologist, I’ve noticed that there are many challenges to longitudinal research and experience sampling. Here are a few critical ones:

  • Participants need a way to continually engage with experiences  
  • Researchers need to be able to track assessments, surveys, and compliance over time
  • Interactions with participants need to be secure and timely
  • Participant engagement needs to transcend geography 
  • Participants need their privacy protected and anonymity ensured 

For researchers pursuing longitudinal research and experience sampling, experience-centered data collection technology can make studying experiences an educational, enjoyable experience for everybody involved. 

ExpiWell communities enhance longitudinal research and experience sampling 

ExpiWell’s web- and mobile-based technology solves many of the challenges associated with longitudinal and experience sampling projects. Participant communities, now enabled by ExpiWell, keep participants engaged across time and geographical locations.

Picture ExpiWell community like a Facebook Group or a NextDoor neighborhood but with functionality geared toward research. When developing ExpiWell’s platform, we made sure our features make longitudinal research and experience sampling an exciting experience for both researchers and participants. 

Researchers are able to: 

  • Manage, compensate, and assess community members through the research dashboard on the web platform. 
  • Design experiences—experience sampling studies or interventions—for community members to do.
  • Request that participants complete weekly assessments or monthly surveys.
  • Make changes to their research plans as they receive pilot data or as community experiences roll in. 
  • Compensate participants for different types of research projects they engage in within the community.
  • Customize metrics to keep track of data over time.
  • Regularly share content in a feed.
  • Determine how participants react to specific content they post. 

Interested in assessing well-being over time? Or interested in adherence to medical treatments over time? All of this is easy to do using ExpiWell’s experience-centered data collection technology. It’s also easy for participants to contribute to experiences.  

Participants are able to:

  • Participate anonymously in the research through our free ExpiWell mobile app. 
  • Share their experiences with researchers via video, photos, voice, location, and much more using the ExpiWell mobile app.
  • Share their posts and stories with other community members with a simple opt-in feature. 
  • Engage with research through a researcher-driven sense of community and participation 

Community-driven longitudinal research and experience sampling 

By founding ExpiWell, I’ve been able to utilize my experience as a social scientist to make complex research convenient for researchers and engaging for participants. ExpiWell’s experience-centered data collection technology creates a community of researchers and participants where everybody can learn together. It’s exciting to see that we are now at a new frontier for longitudinal research and experience sampling with ExpiWell communities. 

Ready to learn more? Sign up to explore ExpiWell for free today!

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