Statements and Open Commentaries
Statement 1: Self report of Subjective State by Jochen Fahrenberg
A basic aim of ambulatory monitoring is to assess the change of subjective state (mood, emotion, affect, well-being) and symptoms (complaints) over the course of the day. There are several reasons why the computer-assisted approach is the best method for ambulatory assessment: Besides ecological validity, this method affords great flexibility in programmed data gathering, measurement of the specific time and context of self-reports, and a high controlled compliance (cf. position paper, Fahrenberg, Myrtek, Pawlik & Perrez, 2007).
The principles and methodological problems encountered in this form of assessment correspond to a large extent with those found in paper-and-pencil self-reports (mood scales), which have been used extensively for over 50 years. Given that the contemporary investigative approaches implemented in ambulatory assessment frequently stem from disciplines other than differential psychology it may be helpful to revisit the principles of psychological test theory and to highlight some important methodological problems.
Current textbooks of test theory and personality assessment largely limit their treatment of these aspects of methodology to (1) aptitude tests, in which the concept of parallel measurement is appropriate, or to (2) personality questionnaires of various kinds, which deal also with relatively stable traits. The diagnosis of state change with its own special considerations, or appropriate assessment strategies and decision making based on a general assessment theory are rarely elaborated on. Contemporary textbooks in Germany and USA (and, probably, in academic teaching generally) have still a long way to go before the special features and merits of ambulatory assessment are given their due attention.
Please send statements and commentaries to firstname.lastname@example.org. We point out that the statements and commentaries posted on the homepage do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the "Society for Ambulatory Assessment".