Validity and reliability of the experience-sampling method

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Reed Larson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


To understand the dynamics of mental health, it is essential to develop measures for the frequency and the patterning of mental processes in every-day-life situations. The Experience-Sampling Method (ESM) is an attempt to provide a valid instrument to describe variations in self-reports of mental processes. It can be used to obtain empirical data on the following types of variables: (a) frequency and patterning of daily activity, social interaction, and changes in location; (b) frequency, intensity, and patterning of psychological states, i.e., emotional, cognitive, and conative dimensions of experience; (c) frequency and patterning of thoughts, including quality and intensity of thought disturbance. The article reviews practical and methodological issues of the ESM and presents evidence for its short- and long-term reliability when used as an instrument for assessing the variables outlined above.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFlow and the Foundations of Positive Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationThe Collected Works of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789401790888
ISBN (Print)9401790876, 9789401790871
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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