søndag den 6. maj 2012

Ecological Momentary Assessments - an initial explanation

For some reason  the term Ecological Momentary Assessments(EMA)  has not been explained in wiki yet. 
This post is an attempt to compensate on that. 

Since 1990 there has been a growing research interest in the oppurtunity to do assessments - most cases introsubjective, but also as a professional inspection of a situation or state of a person. And the invention of smartphones has made the interest grow more. 

Formally speaking a Ecological Momentary Assesment is a micro assessment of the current state(mood, wellbeing, physical state(sleeping quality) a more. It is captured in an context that can be time, place,physical properties of the situation(sounds  or visual properties)  or social situations properties. An finally e-behavior, And all 5 combined. 

The assessment is most often done in quantative data but with the invent of smartphones qualitative data can easily be captured to: videorecording or audiorecordings. 

Mood map - Margaret Morris - Mobile Heart Health
2-dimensionel visual assessment of mood.
Context is unknown
The EMA can be textual, visual audial or all combined. 

EMA is attractive for a number of reasons. 

  1. First of all because cognition and behaviour is context bound and therefore difficult reestablish in a post festum interview.
  2. Second because the observational bias can be designed either as weak or strong. Weak by minimising or eliminating the surveillance factor. Strong by maximaxing the surveillance factor. 
  3. Third the EMAs can function as initial radar for interesting cases to be studies in qualitative manners. 
  4. Fourth the EMA do have strong persuasive properties that clients, children an more and benefit from. 
  5. Fifth - they are cheap and are getting cheaper to develop. 

The drawback of EMAs is that they are Micro assessment without an  humans empatical ability to retrieve more substantial explanations. 

Psychologist Jonathan Led Larsen from Region Nord and I are writting an Review article on EMAs. 

See his posting "Can Ecological Momentary Assessments also deliver therapeutic interventions?" on the topic.



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