Target audience APH researchers
Language English


Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) is a method of data collection where participants are studied in daily life by repeatedly measuring feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in an individual’s natural environment. EMA aims to minimize recall bias, maximize ecological validity, and allows us to study dynamical processes underlying psychology and behavior.

In active EMA, participants receive a short questionnaire on their smartphone, typically several times a day for multiple days; passive EMA aims to monitor the behavior of participants using sensors, typically from smartphones and/or smartwatches.

The number of studies using EMA has increased exponentially as researchers have started to realize the potential of this methodology. However, setting up an EMA study and analyzing EMA data can be challenging and requires numerous difficult choices. We are organizing three free lectures on EMA in healthcare research as part of a grant that was awarded by APH to facilitate knowledge exchange for inexperienced EMA researchers, experienced EMA researchers, and clinicians.

Lecture 2: Collecting and analyzing passive EMA

The goal of this lecture is to provide an overview of how to collect passive EMA data using smartphones, and how to use such data. Prof. dr. Hoogendoorn will discuss the following topics:

  • Collecting data using sensors in smartphones (sensors, GPS, app use, etc.)
  • Using machine learning techniques to analyze passive EMA
  • Personalization of interventions based on passive EMA

This lecture will be held March 15 11:00-13:00

Lecture 3: Analyzing active EMA data

The goal of this lecture is to discuss the differences between the analysis of EMA data and the analysis of cross-sectional data, and provide an overview of some commonly used methods for analyzing EMA data. Dr. Smit will discuss the following topics:

  • Issues and considerations specific to intensive longitudinal data
  • Advantages and challenges of multilevel models
  • Analyzing EMA data obtained for a group of participants using multilevel models
  • Conceptualizing and modeling the relation between variables
  • Dr. Smit will also discuss: (Granger) causality, dynamical systems theory, and real-time analysis

This lecture will be held April 6 12:30-16:30

Date and Location

Time From 12:30 to 16:30
Start date Thursday, April 6, 2023
Location NU Building (Room 02A59) @ VU Campus

Costs and registration

Attendance is free of charge.

If you would like to sign up for one or both of these lectures, please register here.


For more information regarding these lectures or if you are interested in the recording of our first lecture (regarding the collection of active EMA data), please e-mail Arnout C. Smit.