Research-on-Research Report: A Real-World Comparison of Diaries vs. Recall-Based Studies

With so many choices when it comes to research methodologies, knowing which is right for your particular study can be a challenge. Our Research-on-Research study can help… at least with a small portion of that challenge. 

The Diary vs. Recall-Based comparison was based on a US-nationwide gen-pop study of consumers, asking them to track or recall their breakfast and lunch activities over a several-day period. The recall participants were given a brief online survey at the end of the time period to complete. The others were asked to track their activities – as they occurred – in a mobile diary. The study was completed in May 2019.  

A few of the key findings include: 

  • Consumers are able to recall fairly habitual behaviors, but have trouble with occasion-specific information. 
  •  Longitudinal studies (over days) allow us to pick up nuances of behavior that are not found in a snapshot or 24-hour timeframe. 
  • Recall-based studies capture surface-level motivations, but sometimes miss rich diagnostics such as emotions and underlying need-states.  

Click below to download a copy of the complete findings.