Faculté des lettres

Ambulatory Assessment - Monitoring Behavior in Daily Life Settings : A Behavioral-Scientific Challenge of Psychology

Fahrenberg, Jochen ; Myrtek, Michael ; Pawlik, Kurt ; Perrez, Meinrad

In: European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 2007, vol. 23, no. 4, p. 206-213

Abstract. Ambulatory assessment refers to the use of computer-assisted methodology for self-reports, behavior records, or physiological measurements, while the participant undergoes normal daily activities. Since the 1980s, portable microcomputer systems and physiological recorders/analyzers have been developed for this purpose. In contrast to their use in medicine, these new methods have hardly... Plus

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    Summary
    Abstract. Ambulatory assessment refers to the use of computer-assisted methodology for self-reports, behavior records, or physiological measurements, while the participant undergoes normal daily activities. Since the 1980s, portable microcomputer systems and physiological recorders/analyzers have been developed for this purpose. In contrast to their use in medicine, these new methods have hardly entered the domain of psychology. Questionnaire methods are still preferred, in spite of the known deficiencies of retrospective self-reports. Assessment strategies include: continuous monitoring, monitoring with time- and event-sampling methods, in-field psychological testing, field experimentation, interactive assessment, symptom monitoring, and self-management. These approaches are innovative and address ecological validity, context specificity, and are suitable for practical applications. The advantages of this methodology, as well as issues of acceptance, compliance, and reactivity are discussed. Many technical developments and research contributions have come from the German-speaking countries and the Netherlands. Nonetheless, the current Decade of Behavior (APA) calls for a more widespread use of such techniques and developments in assessment. This position paper seeks to make the case for this approach by demonstrating the advantages – and in some domains – necessities of ambulatorymonitoringmethodology for a behavioral science orientation in psychology.