Stop asking how did you feel and start asking how do you feel now?
What is it?
The Experience Sampling Method, also commonly referred to as Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) is a research methodology that involves asking participants to report on their thoughts, feelings, behaviours and/or environment on multiple occasions over time. Participants report on their current experiences in the moment (right then, not later; right there, not elsewhere) or shortly thereafter. By gathering reports on current feelings, researchers minimise recall bias and a maximise the ecological validity of their participant's responses. Participants, as humans, are much likely to give more accurate information on current feelings than trying to remember past experiences.
AthenaCX enables researchers to carry out Experience Sampling investigations by creating and distributing scheduled surveys which are delivered directly to participant's via phone notifications. To make things even easier, we follow the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model where participants can access studies in a matter of minutes through their own personal phones by downloading the AthenaCX app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
How it works
A consumer researcher, Michael is working on behalf of a major sports retailer in measuring the comfort levels and attitudes towards a brand new running shoe design which is still in the late development stages. Michael hires a group of testers to wear the shoes throughout the course of the day, whenever possible. He uses the AthenaCX platform to create a study which every hour between 8am and 10pm, schedules a very short questionnaire to be sent directly to the participant's phone via their phone notifications to ask them about the comfort levels of their feet. Michael has 3 different questionnaires which have different questions about different topics of interest for the consulting company. All of questions were asking the participants about their current comfort levels, making it very easy for them to answer accurately.
By delivering short and varied questions, Michael is able to prevent the subjects from gaining survey fatigue and by asking them about current feelings he's able to put together a very clear and concise mental map for each day that the triallist took part.
** Michael also uses the AthenaCX app to integrate with the participant's Fitbit. He sends out a separate questionnaire directly after a participant has worked out which is tailored for gathering insights about how well the comfort levels of the shoes held up through intensive exercise. The AthenaCX puts Michael in a much better position to get richer, much more comprehensive dataset.