The experience sampling method (ESM) is the leading technique for understanding human experiences as they occur naturally in daily life. ESM is used to improve and edify important academic, social, corporate, and institutional problems such as, How do day-to-day emotions impact an undergraduate student’s likelihood to dropout? How do everyday environmental factors (e.g., home family size, rural/urban, transportation) determine when and how a person seeks out healthcare? How do workplace behaviors vary throughout the day and what is the impact on employee happiness? How do motivations such as purchase intention shift throughout the day based on setting—such as—time of day, mood, past purchase decisions?
ESM answers these questions with an intimate, deep-dive into the individual experiences people face everyday in real-time, and in the real world. The result is powerful, actionable intelligence that is used equally to build groundbreaking social scientific discoveries as well as to deliver cutting-edge industry solutions.
Armed with real-time, real-world insight…
Although the term ESM is used to describe a family of research methods (see ambulatory assessments, ecological momentary assessments (EMA), repeated daily diary method, journey mapping), three main fundamental elements can be found across ESM designs.
At a very basic level ESM studies typically consist of repeated assessment across a set period of time (e.g., 3 times a day for five days, two weeks, etc.). Participants share information about their day-to-day experiences in response to some type of prompt (e.g., a push notification on a mobile phone) in their natural environment.
What are some advantages of ESM?
ESM has several advantages above and beyond status quo techniques (in other words, the old world of email, web surveys). ESM advantages include:
What role does ExpiWell play?
ExpiWell is a resource for ESM exploration, innovation, and practice. As scientific leaders in the field of ESM, we at ExpiWell strive to provide researchers (or any professional driven by curiosity and innovation) with the best tools for utilizing ESM best-practices in their own work. We do this primarily through our mobile app and online platform which enables experience-based data collection, real-time communication, and community building. We built our technology at the intersection of design and scientific expertise to ensure the best user experience for both researchers and participants. As a team, our goal is to introduce researchers, educators, and innovators to the new era of understanding and improving human experiences.