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Experience Sampling

Experience sampling refers to a heterogeneous group of methods for examining successive instances of experience. Most experience sampling methods use beepers, pagers, or some other external device to trigger the collection of experiences in people’s natural environments. Assessment in clinical psychology is often based on questionnaire responses, global retrospections, and behavioral observations made in unusual settings such as clinics or research laboratories despite much evidence of substantial biases and other limitations of those procedures. Experience sampling methods seek to avoid those limitations by examining the concrete particularities of inner experience (e.g., thoughts or feelings occurring at specific moments) with as little retrospection as possible and in environments that are as natural as possible. After discussing the background of experience sampling, this entry reviews various ...

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