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Monday, January 21, 2013

Time on Task

Time Since becoming a devotee of Graham Gibbs a couple of weeks ago, I've been thinking about time on task, so another paper from Ray Junco is of interest.

Conclusions:
  • Students (and, I'd be willing to bet staff) over-report time on task.
  • Anecdote is not a substitute for data.

Comparing actual and self-reported measures of Facebook use. (2013) Computers in Human Behavior. 29: 626–631
Numerous studies exist examining how college students use Facebook and how this affects aspects of their college experience; however, all of these studies have relied on self-report measures of Facebook use. Research in other areas of human behavior has shown that self-report measures are substantially inaccurate when compared to actual behaviors. This study provides the first test of the criterion validity of measures of Facebook frequency by comparing self-reported time spent on the site and number of logins against actual usage as measured by computer monitoring software. A sample of 45 college students installed software that monitored their computer usage for 1 month. There was a strong positive correlation between self-reported and actual time spent on Facebook; however, there was a significant discrepancy between the two. Students spent an average of 26 min (SD = 30) per day on Facebook, significantly lower than the average of 145 (SD = 111) minutes per day obtained through self-report. There was a moderate relationship between number of logins and actual time spent on Facebook. Although there are some limitations of monitoring computer usage, researchers are encouraged to attempt to relate their self-report measures to actual behaviors in order to improve external validity.





2 comments:

  1. Where facebooking is the task? This paper seems rather to suggest that people overstate how much time they spend OFF task...

    ReplyDelete
  2. The evidence is pretty conclusive that over-reporting of activity is a universal trait, including non-academic activity such as social media use.

    ReplyDelete