Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Longitudinal Research Designs

  • Manuel C. Voelkle
  • Martin Hecht
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1323-1



In a longitudinal research design, the same attribute is observed repeatedly for at least one unit i (e.g., a person). In practice, one can roughly distinguish between two different types of longitudinal research designs: Either multiple units i = 1, …, N are observed at multiple time points t = 1, …, T, with N being large and T being small or a single unit is observed at many time points, that is N = 1 (or small) and T being large. Longitudinal panel studies (e.g., the socioeconomic panel study SOEP; Wagner et al. 2007) are a typical example of the former, whereas time series models (e.g., of stock prices; Lütkepohl 2005) are a typical example of the latter. Obviously, however, these are just two end points on a continuum of different longitudinal research designs. This encyclopedia entry provides a short overview of some of the most prominent longitudinal research designs along with their...

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Human DevelopmentBerlinGermany