Ambulatory assessment survey?

Hi Josh,

Can prolific by any chance facilitate ambulatory assessment? We are in particular looking for a way to run a diary study in which a representative sample of participants are asked to complete an online survey daily but at random moments withing a predefined time interval on the day.

I know there are alternatives available but we’re had very good experience with prolific over the years so prefer to use that. I also spotted another post that suggested this would not be possible but since that was about a year old I thought I’d ask just in case…

Thanks for your time and guidance.

All the best,

Dear Wijnand

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

The short answer to your questions is that I am afraid there is no specific functionality at Prolific for carrying out ambulatory assessment as far as I am aware. But that does mean that such a study can not be carried out using the recruitment and payment functionality provided by Prolific.

Michael Lewis was planning to perform a behavioural sampling (the difference between which and ambulatory assessment I am afraid I am not aware) study of video game players. I don’t know whether the study was carried out but, I advised him on the standard way to conduct such a study in the following exchange

You may also which to contact Michael to ask how the video gamers study went.

I also see that there are some android applications available on Google Play but they tend to be geared towards making children behave more in line with the desires of their caregivers. Should you be so kind as to recommend some mobile software for ambulator assessment I would be very interested.

The basic plan would be to carry out a longitudinal study ( please see extensive FAQ ) with an initial survey, where the overall study and requirements would be explained and then either a follow up study, or pay bonuses to those that submitted the ambulatory assessment.

I hope that is of some use.


Hi Tim,

Thank you for the helpful response! I think the challenging bit here is that the time intervals would be random for each participant, though in principle they could all use the same link.

I’ll do a little further exploring to see if this can be sorted on the survey tool side of things. Small follow-up question related to that if you don’t mind me asking: am I correct to understand that anonymous prolific participants can be emailed by a non-prolific contact? That might help with sorting the random times bit.

Best wishes,

Hi Wijnad

Recently another researcher had the idea to use the same study link provided only to those that have the URL, over a variety of time frames. I thought of it as the equivalent of an “unlisted” video on YouTube. I think that such a feature would be helpful in this case too but alas it does not currently exist. You can however email the participants the same survey link using their Prolific email address using

I am afraid they can only be emailed, from a Prolific research account email address not from “a non-Prolific contact” (if I am understanding that phrase correctly.


Hi Tim,

Thanks! That is good to know.

Best wishes,

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