time budget studies
time budget studiesa method of social inquiry, which requires respondents to keep accurate diaries of their daily activities, e.g. leisure activities over a set period (see Szalai, 1972). Usually respondents are asked to record accurately the activities they engage in at set intervals throughout a particular period, e.g. a day or a week. These data are then analysed to present time budgets of the activities of each individual, enabling an overall statement of the incidence of particular activities to be made, and comparisons to be made between individuals or groups.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000