What is it about?

As the number of studies using ambulatory assessment (AA; also termed ecological momentary assessment or experience sampling method) has been increasing across diverse fields of research, so has the necessity to identify potential threats to AA data quality such as careless responding. To date, careless responding has primarily been studied in cross-sectional surveys. We discuss which of the previously proposed indices seem promising for investigating careless responding in AA studies. The goal of the present research was to identify types of occasions, which differ in the extent and type of momentary careless responding (latent profiles), and types of individuals (latent classes) who differ in the distribution of those types of occasions across measurement occasions. We used data from an AA study in which the sampling frequency (3 vs. 9 occasions per day, 7 days, n = 310 participants) was experimentally manipulated. We tested the effect of sampling frequency on careless responding and investigated situational and respondent-level covariates. The results showed that four types of measurement occasions (“careful”, “slow”, two types of “careless” responding) and four types of individuals (“careful”, “frequently careless”, two types of “infrequently careless” respondents) could be identified. Sampling frequency did not have an effect on careless responding. On the individual (but not the occasion) level, motivational variables were associated with careless responding. We hope that researchers might find our approach useful to shed more light on factors influencing careless responding in AA studies.

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Why is it important?

We propose a new modeling approach to investigate group differences using multilevel latent class analysis in addition to investigating careless responding in an ambulatory assessment study with the latent class analysis approach


The explained multigroup multilevel latent class analysis model can be used by a variety of researchers in a variety of research fields to investigate group differences in a nested data structure

Kilian Hasselhorn

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This page is a summary of: Modeling careless responding in ambulatory assessment studies using multilevel latent class analysis: Factors influencing careless responding., Psychological Methods, May 2023, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/met0000580.
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