The Day Reconstruction Method (DRC)

Author of Tool: 

Kahneman, D., Kreuger, A. B., & Schkade, D. A.

Key references: 

Kahneman, D., Kreuger, A. B., & Schkade, D. A. (2004). A survey method for characterizing daily life experience: The day reconstruction method. Science, 306, 1776–1780.

Primary use / Purpose: 

A measure of how people spend their time and how they experience the various activities and settings of their lives.

Background: 

The Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) assesses how people spend their time and how they experience the various activities and settings of their lives, combining features of time-budget measurement and experience sampling. Participants systematically reconstruct their activities and experiences of the preceding day with procedures designed to reduce recall biases. The benefits of the DRM as outlined by the authors are: joint assessment of activities and subjective experiences, information about the duration of each experience, allowing for duration weighted analyses of experiences, lower respondent burden than typical for experience sampling methods, more complete coverage of the day than typical for experience sampling methods, lower susceptibility to retrospective reporting biases than typical for global reports of daily experiences, high flexibility in adapting the content of the instrument to the needs of the  specific study. 

Psychometrics: 

The DRM's utility is shown by documenting close correspondences between the DRM reports of 909 employed women and established results from experience sampling. An analysis of the hedonic treadmill shows the DRM's potential for well-being research.

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