Measuring Mobile Phone Use: Self-Report Versus Log Data

Jeff Boase, Richard Ling

    Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    In this paper we examine how well two types of self-report measures adequately operationalize frequency of mobile phone use by comparing them to server log data. Our self-report measures of voice and SMS text messaging activity are drawn from a nationally representative survey of adults living in Norway. Our results show that self-report measures only correlate moderately to the server log data. This result poses serious epistemological implications for the many influential studies that use similar self-report measures. We further conduct an exploratory multivariate analysis to examine the extent to which demographic traits are associated with under- and over-reporting. Gender, age, household size, marital status, and employment status were all found to be significant predictors of under- or over-reporting.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)508-519
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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