The distinguishing feature of intensive longitudinal methods, or intensive longitudinal designs, is that they involve a large number of repeated measurements of the same set of variables. Typical functional brain imaging experiments use intensive longitudinal designs: Often thousands of repeated measurements are obtained under each experimental condition. Also, reaction time experiments in the study of elementary cognitive information processing use intensive longitudinal designs comprising hundreds of repeated trials, as do frame-by-frame assessments of video-recorded mother–child interaction and studies of daily life using ecological momentary assessments (EMAs). These examples from life-span human development studies differ in a number of respects (e.g., sampling rates ranging from milliseconds in brain imaging to days in daily diary designs), and they share important issues due to the employment of intensive ...

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