We divide our review of cross-cultural applications of experience sampling methodology (ESM) into five main areas. First, we review studies that compare online (via ESM) and retrospective responses (via single-session surveys) and show that the two measures lead to different conclusions about cultural differences. Second, we review studies that highlight the distinction between quantity (i.e., how often certain events occur) and subjective quality (i.e., how events are experienced), and demonstrate that cultural differences may exist in either or both of these aspects. Third, we review studies that examine cultural differences in intra-psychic phenomena or within-person correlations (i.e., how psychological states covary with situational factors across cultures). These studies capture processes that may shift rapidly across contexts—such as the activation of different cultural identities and subsequent emotions. Fourth, we discuss the potential of ESM data to quantify the amount of intra-individual variation across cultures. That is, how much people’s feelings and behaviors vary overall from situation to situation—an issue that is distinct from mean-level and correlational studies. With each of the major applications, we discuss the unique advantages of using ESM. Fifth and last, we review the challenges associated with using ESM in different cultures and directions for future research.
Multicultural psychology, Human behavior, experience sampling methodology
Handbook of Research Methods for Studying Daily Life
Mehl, Matthias R.; Conner, Tamlin S.
City or Country
Tov, William and Christie Napa Scollon. 2012. "Cross-cultural Research." In Handbook of Research Methods for Studying Daily Life, edited by Matthias R. Mehl and TAMlin S. Conner, 539-552. New York: Guilford Press.