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The experience sampling method (ESM) allows for a high degree of ecological validity compared to laboratory research, at the cost of greater effort for participants. It would therefore benefit from implementations that reduce participant effort. In the present paper, we introduce a screenless wrist-worn one-button wearable as an unobtrusive measurement method that can be employed in ESM designs. We developed an open-source Android application to make this commercially available wearable easily configurable and usable. Over the course of six pilot studies, we explored the technical viability (e.g., battery life, reliability of inputs) of this wearable. We compared data quality between wearables and smartphones in a within-subjects design, exploring both the input options of using the number of button presses as a Likert scale, as well as using the angle of the device as a Physical Analogue Scale. Assessments of Extraversion made with either of these methods were highly correlated to comparable assessments made with comparable methods on a smartphone (i.e., Likert scale or a Visual Analogue Scale, respectively). Furthermore, in a preregistered ESM field experiment (N = 134, 4 weeks), we compared compliance to real-life event triggers between wearable devices and smartphones. We found higher numbers of logged events in the wearable group, indicating better adherence to the event-contingent scheduling. Overall, despite the device's minimal capabilities and resulting limitations, one-button wearables can be beneficial for use in ESM designs.
- Experience sampling method
- Ecological momentary assessment
- Ambulatory assessment
- Physical analogue scale