time budget studies

time budget studies

a 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.
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Time budget studies are changing the way we see the world, and destroying some well-entrenched myths in the process.