Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Measuring Time Use in Surveys: How Valid Are Time Use Questions in Surveys? Concordance of Survey and Experience Sampling Measures

Contents:

Author Info

  • Bettina Sonnenberg
  • Michaela Riediger
  • Cornelia Wrzus
  • Gert G. Wagner

Abstract

Since it is still unclear to what extent time allocation retrospectively reported in questionnaires, reflects people's actual behavior, examining the accuracy of responses to time use survey questions is of crucial importance. We analyze the congruence of time use information assessed through retrospective questionnaires and through experience sampling methodology. The sample comprised 433 individuals ranging in age from 14 to 86 years. Participants completed standard survey questions on time allocation. In addition, a mobile-phone based experience sampling technology was used over a period of three weeks to obtain snapshots of, on average, 54 momentary activities in which participants participated while pursuing their normal daily routines. Experience sampling assessments were scheduled six times a day over at least nine days, including workdays, Saturdays, andSundays. Results indicate that the congruence between time allocation assessed with survey questions (i.e. in SOEP) and time allocation assessed with experience sampling methodology depends on the characteristics of the respective activities. Associations between standard survey questions and experience sampling methods are quite substantial for long-lasting and externally structured activities, such as paid work on workdays. Incontrast, associations between survey and experience sampling methods are somewhat weaker, though highly statistically significant, for less externally structured, short-term and infrequent activities, such as errands, housework, and leisure. These moderate and relatively small correlations may indicate either an error-prone estimation of the prevalence of shortterm and infrequent activities by experience sampling or respondents' overrating of sporadic and short activities in survey questions. We conclude that activities with a long duration, such as paid work, can be measured in a satisfactory manner using short survey questions. Futureresearch is necessary to elucidate which method (experience sampling method or survey questions) delivers more reliable and valid measures for shortterm and sporadic activities.Day Reconstruction Methods (DRM) should be included in this future methodological research.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.376621.de/diw_sp0390.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 390.

as in new window
Length: 30 p.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp390

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Mohrenstraße 58, D-10117 Berlin
Phone: xx49-30-89789-671
Fax: xx49-30-89789-109
Email:
Web page: http://www.diw.de/en/soep
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Survey methods; experience sampling method; validity; time use; market work; housework; leisure; German Socio-Economic Panel Study; MMAA; SOEP;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Jens Bonke, 2005. "Paid Work and Unpaid Work: Diary Information Versus Questionnaire Information," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 70(3), pages 349-368, 02.
  2. Kan, Man Yee & Pudney, Stephen, 2007. "Measurement error in stylised and diary data on time use," ISER Working Paper Series 2007-03, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  3. Steffen Otterbach & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2010. "How Accurate are German Work-time Data? A Comparison of Time-diary Reports and Stylized Estimates," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 97(3), pages 325-339, July.
  4. Merz, Joachim & Wolff, Klaus G, 1993. "The Shadow Economy: Illicit Work and Household Production: A Microanalysis of West Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(2), pages 177-94, June.
  5. Thomas Siedler & Jürgen Schupp & C. Katharina Spieß & Gert G. Wagner, 2008. "The German Socio-Economic Panel as a Reference Data Set," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 150, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Blair, Edward & Burton, Scot, 1987. " Cognitive Processes Used by Survey Respondents to Answer Behavioral Frequency Questions," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 280-88, September.
  8. Frances McGinnity & Helen Russell, 2007. "Work Rich, Time Poor? Time-Use of Women and Men in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 38(3), pages 323–354.
  9. Kimberly Fisher & Muriel Egerton & Jonathan Gershuny & John Robinson, 2007. "Gender Convergence in the American Heritage Time use Study (AHTUS)," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 82(1), pages 1-33, May.
  10. Andrew Harvey, 1993. "Guidelines for time use data collection," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 197-228, November.
  11. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Jeremy Hunter, 2003. "Happiness in Everyday Life: The Uses of Experience Sampling," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-199, June.
  12. Ragni Kitterød, 2001. "Does the recording of parallel activities in Time Use Diaries affect the way people report their main activities?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 56(2), pages 145-178, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
  1. SOEP based publications

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp390. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.