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Contact Logger: Measuring everyday intergroup contact experiences in near-time

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/08/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Behavior Research Methods
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)1568–1586
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/01/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Intergroup contact research has traditionally relied on retrospective accounts of intergroup encounters, mainly through surveybased or observational methods. This study introduces and tests the usability of a purpose-built, location-aware mobile application—the Contact Logger. This application enables the recording of interpersonal and intergroup encounters, in public and private spaces (both indoor and outdoor), in their here-and-now contexts. The main advantage of this approach, as compared to traditional methods, lies in its ability to collect repeated and timely (near-time) self-assessments of individuals’ behaviors and
experiences. It also allows for geographical location data to be logged. Usability testing was conducted in a real-world environment and took place over the course of seven days, during which participants (N = 12) logged every contact they had with an outgroup member (here, older people). Subsequently, participants completed a paper-and-pencil questionnaire, reporting on the
usability and experience of using the Contact Logger. The results showed that the application is a viable and easy-to-use alternative to traditional methods. The information gathered aided the further development and optimization of the application.
The outcomes of this development process are also briefly discussed.