Research Seminar: 15th November 2016

Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) in health psychology:
examining behaviours and processes in daily life

EMA, otherwise referred to as ambulatory assessment or the experience sampling method, is a method of collecting relatively-intensive repeated measures in everyday life as your participants go about their usual activities. Using EMA in research has several benefits, including data that:

  1. maximise ecological validity;
  2. are rich with information about context (where? doing what? who with? etc.);
  3. minimise recall bias; and
  4. permit the exploration of underlying mechanisms of behaviour and processes within individuals.

EMA is growing In popularity as a method in health psychology, with new methods of data collection and analysis utilised. In this talk, I will briefly outline the benefits and challenges of EMA for those who are new to the method, and go on to provide an overview of the SNAPSHOT (SNAcking, Physical activity, Self-regulation, and Heart-rate Over Time) project: a study of 64 adults who provided very short hourly assessments over 7 consecutive days. I will focus on snacking data from SNAPSHOT, including the role of state fluctuations in inhibitory control (assessed by real-time Go/No-Go task performance) on unhealthy snacking behaviour, and clear individual differences in contextual correlates of snacking in daily life.


Dr Daniel Powell
University of Aberdeen
3.00pm to 4.00pm in 35 AC 04


Dr Daniel Powell is a Research Fellow in Health Psychology at the University of Aberdeen, jointly posted between the Aberdeen Health Psychology Group and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health. He completed his PhD at the University of Southampton in 2014, and has been at the University of Aberdeen since then. His research is generally around understanding variability in behaviours and symptom experience within-individuals, using a variety of intensive longitudinal methods.