In recent years, many studies have used ecological momentary assessment (EMA), experience sampling method (ESM), daily diary, or ambulatory assessment to study human behavior and human experiences in their natural context. All these methods consist of repeatedly and often intensively collecting information from individuals about their daily lives in a way that is not possible using traditional designs.

More researchers apply sophisticated EMA designs in their studies thanks to smartphones’ generalizability usage and advances in mobile technologies (e.g., wearable devices). These advances opened to new ways of capturing information from people as they go about their everyday lives, including measures of self-report, observational, biological, physiological, and behavioral measures. Moreover, the use of EMA reduces retrospective recall and biases related to self-report information and provides more ecologically valid data. In addition, the data obtained through EMA allows examining within-person processes and temporal dynamics that occur over relatively short time periods (minutes, hours, days).

The summer school program aims at presenting the state of the art methods and practices in ESM designs, providing examples of what can be studied in different domains, pointing to issues to which one should pay attention when building an ESM study, presenting some tools (software/apps) available for experience sampling, as well as exploring the rich range of data that can be gathered with sensory technologies. Specific attention will be devoted to simple and advanced data-analytic techniques that consider and exploit the dynamic nature of experience sampling data.

The summer school is mainly addressed to doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars, and early-career researchers in general.

Different interactive didactic methods will be used:

  • Plenary lectures
  • Methodological course
  • Presentations and discussion about participants’ research projects
  • Informal Lunch Meetings with experts
  • Special Topic lectures


Patronage and financial support

Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca

Bicocca Center for Applied Psychology

Mind and Behavior Technological Center