Bettina Sonnenberg, DIW Berlin
Michaela Riediger, MPI für Bildungsforschung
Cornelia Wruz, MPI für Bildungsforschung
Gert G. Wagner, DIW Berlin
According to the literature, it is still not clear to what extent stated time allocation in questionnaires reflects the actual behavior of people. Using experience sampling data, we analyze the congruence of stated time use and reported behavior elicited through a novel experience sampling method. Our comparisons indicate that rather long-lasting and outstanding activities like market work seem to be accurately measured by common survey questions. In contrast, for more short-term activities or those around which people do not tend to structure their time—such as errands—only small correlations can be revealed. We conclude that activities with a long duration can be measured in a satisfactory manner by short survey questions whereas it is an open methodological question if experience sampling method or survey questions deliver more reliable and valid measures for short-term activities.