Social Indicators Research

, Volume 130, Issue 1, pp 213–232 | Cite as

The Validity of the Day Reconstruction Method in the German Socio-economic Panel Study

  • Ivana AnusicEmail author
  • Richard E. Lucas
  • M. Brent Donnellan


The Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) is a useful tool for evaluating short-term changes in emotional experiences over a variety of daily situations. However, traditional method of collecting DRM data can be time-intensive for both researchers and participants. In this paper we provide evidence that a random-sampling approach to DRM assessment can provide useful data that are largely consistent with previous research that used the full version of the DRM. In a nationally representative sample of 2303 people, we demonstrate that (1) there is variability in emotional ratings of episodes that replicates what has been found in prior studies, (2) correlations with global measures are typically small in magnitude (<0.30), (3) correlations with personality are for the most part negligible, (4) correlations with global ratings of domain satisfaction are higher for domain-relevant situations, and (5) parents report more positive affect while providing care for their children when compared to other activities, and this effect can account for the observed differences in emotional experiences of parents and non-parents.


Day Reconstruction Method Subjective well-being Validity Measurement Affect Parenting 



This research was supported by NIA Grant AG040715 awarded to Richard E. Lucas and M. Brent Donnellan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivana Anusic
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard E. Lucas
    • 1
  • M. Brent Donnellan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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