No Such Effect? The Implications of Measurement Error in Self-Report Measures of Mobile Communication Use

  • Kobayashi T
  • Boase J
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Research on the social and psychological effects of mobile phone communication primarily is conducted using self-report measures of use. However, recent studies have suggested such measures of mobile phone communication use contain a significant amount of measurement error. This study compares the frequency of mobile phone use measured by self-report questions with error-free log data automatically collected through an Android smartphone application. Using data from 310 Android phone users in Japan, we investigate the extent to which nonrandom measurement error exists in self-report responses to questions about mobile phone use and predictors of this error. Our analysis shows that users generally overreport their frequency of mobile communication and that overestimation is better predicted by proxy measures of social activity than demographic variables. We further show an example of how overreporting can result in an overestimation of the effects of mediated communication on civic engagement. Finally, the value of behavioral log data in mediated communication research is discussed. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Communication Methods & Measures is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Author-supplied keywords

  • CELL phones
  • COMPUTER users
  • MEASUREMENT errors
  • MOBILE communication systems
  • SELF-evaluation
  • SOCIAL action

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  • Tetsuro Kobayashi

  • Jeffrey Boase

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