Intensive Longitudinal Methods

A 2-Day Seminar Taught by Niall Bolger & Jean-Philippe Laurenceau

Intensive longitudinal methods, often called experience sampling, daily diary, or ecological momentary assessment methods, allow researchers to study people’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in their natural contexts. Typically they involve self-reports from individuals, dyads, families or other small groups over the course of hours, days, and weeks. Such data can reveal life as it is actually lived and provide insights that are not possible using conventional experimental or survey research methods.

Intensive longitudinal data, however, present data analytic challenges stemming from the multiple levels of analysis and temporal dependencies in the data. The multilevel or mixed-effects model for longitudinal data is a flexible analytic tool that can take account of these complexities, and the overarching goal of this 2-day seminar is to provide practical training in its applied use. Material for this workshop will be drawn from the presenters’ 2013 book, Intensive Longitudinal Methods: An Introduction to Diary and Experience Sampling Research.

Who Should Attend

Participants should have taken a basic regression course and either have collected, or are interested in collecting, intensive longitudinal data (e.g., daily diary, ecological momentary assessment, experience sampling, ambulatory assessment). If you want a practical and applied workshop that focuses on: a) data visualization, b) hands-on experience analyzing example datasets with accompanying syntax to take home, c) interpretation and presentation of intensive longitudinal findings for publication purposes, d) an introduction to within-person mediation with intensive longitudinal data, and e) an all-purpose way to plan designs for intensive longitudinal studies and beyond with good power, then this seminar is for you.


The course will include lectures, software demonstrations, and data analysis practice with example datasets. Two software packages will be used: SPSS and Mplus. We will be doing a brief Mplus tutorial for the purposes of this workshop. We will also show participants where they can find equivalent code for conducting the analyses (where possible) in R, Stata, and STAN. Participants should bring their own laptops on which they have installed full or trial versions of these packages. Attendees can follow along with the examples in the workshop handout or conduct analyses on their own laptops. Power outlets will be available at each seat.


The seminar meets Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24 at Temple University Center City, 1515 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. The class will meet from 9 to 5 each day with a 1-hour lunch break. 

Participants receive a bound manual containing detailed lecture notes (with equations and graphics), examples of computer printout, and many other useful features. This book frees participants from the distracting task of note taking. 


The fee of $995 includes all course materials. The early registration fee of $895 is extended until September 25.

Lodging Reservation Instructions

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Club Quarters Hotel, 1628 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA at a nightly rate of $147 for a Standard room. This hotel is about a 5-minute walk from the seminar location. To register, you must call 203-905-2100 during business hours and identify yourself with Statistical Horizons and give the group code STA122 . The room block will expire when it is full or on Tuesday, September 22, 2015.  

Course outline


Day 1:

  • Essential guidelines for modeling intensive longitudinal data
  • How longitudinal data are different from multilevel data
  • Why you should always consider random effects
  • Multiple ways to take the influence of time into account
  • Within- and between-person levels of analysis should always be distinguished
  • What are the right degrees of freedom for tests?
  • Modeling the time course of continuous outcomes
    • Longitudinal data visualization
    • Example table, figures, and write-up to effectively present findings for publication
  • Modeling within-person causal processes for continuous outcomes
    • Why and how you should distinguish between- and within-person levels of analysis
    • Why and how to handle residual autocorrelation
    • Example table, figures, and write-up to effectively present findings for publication

Day 2:

  • Statistical mediation in intensive longitudinal data using structural equation modeling
    • The multilevel SEM framework
    • Why and how each person can have a mediated effect
    • Formula for within-person mediated effects
  • Power analyses for intensive longitudinal designs
    • Why is power more complex in this context: power formula
    • What is the right trade-off between number of persons vs. time points?
    • Power analyses for workshop examples and more


“Wonderfully clear, practical guidance for technical and subjective issues.”

“Thank you! I learned so much from the workshop – exactly what I needed to move ahead.”

“I appreciated the conceptual approach, often presented graphically, to the statistical models. I also found the content to be perfectly geared toward and paced for a moderately advanced audience. The availability of additional materials online also is strength.”