Capturing Experience through Innovation

Communicating thoughts, feelings, attitudes, disease symptoms, and behaviors are the purpose of self-reports. They are a ubiquitous feature of everyday life and are an indispensable tool for science, medical practice, marketing research, and many other disciplines that aim to capture people's experiences. Despite their widespread use and importance, collection of valid self-report data is a complex endeavor that is not fully understood.

The mission of the USC Dornsife Center for Self-Report Science (CSS) is to improve our understanding about how people answer questions about themselves and to develop innovative methods that provide accurate, reliable, and ecologically valid self-reports. A central aspect of this mission is the development of assessment strategies that maximize the precision of information and limit distortion in self-reports. Another focus is the optimization of self-report measurement design through technologies that provide the "right" resolution of timescale of self-report data for various applications. Center faculty investigate the range of sampling densities from high frequency self-report data in people's natural environments using ecological momentary assessment, through daily diaries, day reconstruction methods, and traditional recall assessments. Center personnel have expertise in content domains, such as subjective well-being, fatigue, pain, and other aspects of people's health that are common foci of science and medical practice.