Measuring experiences is a challenge for researchers mainly because an experience is subjective, and it can change in any moment. While an experience is momentary, it holds many insights as well making it a fascinating challenge for researchers to collect the data accurately.

Experience Sampling Method (ESM) is a research methodology that can help deal with this challenge of measuring experiences accurately.

The Experience sampling method has wide applications in many fields to gather insights into thoughts, emotions and daily routines of participants.

Let us dive deeper into this data collection method and know how it can help solve the challenge of measuring experiences.

What is Experience Sampling Method?

Experience Sampling Method is a method of data collection in which participants respond to prompts to provide insights into their emotions, symptoms or environment throughout the day at different moments or intervals. Its versatile nature makes ESM useful across different research domains to provide valuable insights into social interactions, behaviors, stress management, etc.

The data collected by this research method is situational and momentary. Such studies rely on automatic reminding systems to notify participants when to provide their responses. The main benefit of this methodology is that it eliminates the bias of recollecting past events.

In the beginning, electronic pagers were used to signal participants to complete the questionnaire. The smartphone revolution opens a new world of possibilities for experience sampling studies. ESM mobile app to schedule surveys makes it easy to collect data from participants throughout the day. Push notifications on mobile devices remind participants when a questionnaire needs to be completed. Here are the tools that enable real-time monitoring in nature settings for social and psychological Research.

Tools to Enable Real-time Monitoring for Research

  1. Survey Builder

A survey builder is a must have feature in an experience sampling research app that allows researchers to design a questionnaire. It can include text, audio, video, images and numbers.

Furthermore, branching logic allows researchers to adapt the questions based on the responses of participants. It is a useful feature to make a set of appropriate questions for the participants to improve the completion rate and ensure real-time monitoring.

  1. Reminding System

A robust reminding system is an integral part of experience sampling procedure to capture real-time data at specific moments. The reminding procedures are flexible to support diverse requirements. The participant can receive reminders on fixed dates, random times, rolling dates, etc.

Depending on the reminding logic, participants receive a push notification as a cue to complete a set of questions at the defined interval. The push notification works offline to remind the participant even if there is no internal connectivity at that moment. At the same time, the message of push notifications can be customized to increase engagement and ensure completion of the survey in real-time.

  1. Offline Data Collection

Offline data collection is one of the biggest positives of mobile apps to ensure real-time data collection even if the participant is in place with slow internet connection. Sampling momentary assessment app supports offline data entry and store data in local memory of the device and send it to sever once the user is back online.

Benefits of Real time Data Collection of ESM App

  1. Identify Triggers & Patterns

With real time data collection, researchers can identify triggers and patterns for specific behavior of the participant. This allows researchers to analyze data to events or situations preceding changes in emotions of the participant.

  1. Better Engagement and Compliance

The interactive and real-time nature of ESM studies leads to better engagement and compliance than traditional methods.

  1. Deliver Interventions Promptly

Researchers can also deliver interventions in real-time to help participants manage their behaviors effectively.


The real-time data collection capabilities of experience sampling app make it a useful tool for studying human behavior and experiences. These apps play a significant role in psychological research capturing the complexity of human experiences in natural settings.