Shloka R. Kini. Please Take My Survey: Compliance with smartphone-based EMA/ESM studies. Technical Report TR2013-734, Dartmouth Computer Science, May 2013.

Abstract: This thesis analyzes the factors that affect compliance in Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) survey systems using smartphones. Current EMA systems have simple parameters in their triggering mechanisms, which results in missed or ignored surveys, creating a loss of subject data. Over the course of three user studies, with slight variations, we analyze the factors that influence the willingness of a survey participant to answer surveys on an Android phone. An understanding of these factors would be valuable for mobile developers in developing advanced EMA trigger systems. After having experienced various unforeseen challenges in the process, we describe the parameters and difficulties in administering a study of this nature, making recommendations for future EMA applications and user studies. We also compare and analyze the pros and cons involved in developing various EMA systems. Psychologists and sociologists who use EMA systems to gather behavioral data might benefit from the experiential and behavioral data collected as part of our user studies.

Keywords: mHealth, ESM, EMA, user-study


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