Title

So… Like… What Are You Doing Now: The Use of Cell Phones and Text Message in Time Use Studies of College Students

Presenter Information

Jenna Yeager

Start Time

26-10-2007 11:45 AM

End Time

26-10-2007 1:45 PM

Abstract

Among the dimensions of occupation examined in the fields of occupational therapy and occupational science is the use of time in the daily lives of individuals. Time use studies have included the use of interviews, observation, time diaries, and activity records. Experience sampling methodology (ESM) was devised to investigate time use through the use of pagers or other signaling devices to trigger respondents to record experiences while engaged in their natural context. Benefits of ESM include minimization of limitations inherent in other self-report methods, such as memory bias. More recent ESM research has included the use of Personal Data Assistants (PDAs) to signal participants who then input their responses into the unit. Limitations of this method include the inconvenience to the participant of carrying the device and the potential cost of lost devices. The current research piloted the use of cell phones and text messaging to gather ESM data in a manner more consistent with the lifestyle of the population studied. In the context of the environment of young adults, it is felt that cell phones are devices that are familiar and represent minimal intrusion on the lives of participants during data collection. In addition, live researchers were used to pose the questions verbally to participants, with responses coded in paper and pencil by the researcher, limiting some of the limitations posed by participant recording of responses. A search of the literature has revealed no large scale study using cell phones to collect data in the context of ESM, and no studies using text messaging. Therefore, the current study presents a novel methodological strategy with the potential to facilitate research efforts exploring time use. The current surveyed 20 college undergraduates with the use of cell phones to collect data via traditional voice calling and with text messaging. Experiences of the researchers and participants with both methods will be presented, as well as a graphical summary of the findings regarding the time use of this population. The potential and the limitations of these and other technological innovations for data collection will be discussed, including such developing trends as FaceBook and MySpace.

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Oct 26th, 11:45 AM Oct 26th, 1:45 PM

So… Like… What Are You Doing Now: The Use of Cell Phones and Text Message in Time Use Studies of College Students

Among the dimensions of occupation examined in the fields of occupational therapy and occupational science is the use of time in the daily lives of individuals. Time use studies have included the use of interviews, observation, time diaries, and activity records. Experience sampling methodology (ESM) was devised to investigate time use through the use of pagers or other signaling devices to trigger respondents to record experiences while engaged in their natural context. Benefits of ESM include minimization of limitations inherent in other self-report methods, such as memory bias. More recent ESM research has included the use of Personal Data Assistants (PDAs) to signal participants who then input their responses into the unit. Limitations of this method include the inconvenience to the participant of carrying the device and the potential cost of lost devices. The current research piloted the use of cell phones and text messaging to gather ESM data in a manner more consistent with the lifestyle of the population studied. In the context of the environment of young adults, it is felt that cell phones are devices that are familiar and represent minimal intrusion on the lives of participants during data collection. In addition, live researchers were used to pose the questions verbally to participants, with responses coded in paper and pencil by the researcher, limiting some of the limitations posed by participant recording of responses. A search of the literature has revealed no large scale study using cell phones to collect data in the context of ESM, and no studies using text messaging. Therefore, the current study presents a novel methodological strategy with the potential to facilitate research efforts exploring time use. The current surveyed 20 college undergraduates with the use of cell phones to collect data via traditional voice calling and with text messaging. Experiences of the researchers and participants with both methods will be presented, as well as a graphical summary of the findings regarding the time use of this population. The potential and the limitations of these and other technological innovations for data collection will be discussed, including such developing trends as FaceBook and MySpace.