Capturing momentary, self-report data: a proposal for reporting guidelines

Ann Behav Med. Summer 2002;24(3):236-43. doi: 10.1207/S15324796ABM2403_09.


Self-report data are ubiquitous in behavioral and medical research. Retrospective assessment strategies are prone to recall bias and distortion. New techniques for assessing immediate experiences in respondents' natural environments (e.g., Ecological Momentary Assessment, Experience Sampling) are being used by many researchers to reduce reporting bias. This article discusses seven aspects of momentary research that are often overlooked or minimized in the presentation of momentary research reports, yet that are critical to the success of the research: (a) the rationale for the momentary sampling design, (b) the details of momentary sampling procedures, (c) the data acquisition interface, (d) rates of compliance with the sampling plan, (e) the procedures used to train and monitor participants, (f) data management procedures, and (g) the data analytic approach. Attention to these areas in both the design and reporting of momentary research studies will not only improve momentary research protocols but also allow for the successful replication of research findings by other investigators.

MeSH terms

  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Research / standards*
  • Self-Assessment*