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Naab, Teresa K.; Karnowski, Veronika and Schluetz, Daniela (2019): Reporting Mobile Social Media Use: How Survey and Experience Sampling Measures Differ. In: Communication Methods and Measures, Vol. 13, No. 2: pp. 126-147

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Quantifying the ubiquitous, ephemeral, and highly diverse patterns of mobile social media (MSM) use is a challenge for communication research. Most researchers employ retrospective survey measurement, thus depending on the accuracy of users' memories and generalizations. Alternatively, some researchers rely on in-situ measurement, being less dependent on users' memories and generalizations, but requiring random situation samples. To assess differences and similarities between these two measurement approaches we analyzed whether characteristics (duration and frequency of a usage episode, habit, elaboration, and gratifications) of MSM use (regarding Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube) vary between retrospective survey and mobile experience sampling measurement. We observe a consistent pattern of higher estimates in retrospect as compared to individual averages of in-situ reports. The absolute magnitude of these differences varies considerably between platforms and characteristics studied. Nonetheless, for most constructs and platforms we find low significant positive correlations between retrospective and aggregated in-situ values.

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