Analyzing cyclic patterns in psychological data: a tutorial

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    A growing number of studies on psychological phenomena employ the Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) method for obtaining intensive longitudinal data in daily life. Whereas cyclic processes may underlie different psychological and physiological outcomes, the cyclic model that describes such processes is rarely used for fitting EMA data. The aim of this paper is to introduce the cyclic model to researchers, and to demonstrate its use in an empirical data set. It is shown how the cyclic terms can be incorporated in multilevel models. Based on secondary analyses on an existing EMA data set, it can be concluded that adding cyclic terms in EMA analyses may improve model fit and may help understanding the dynamic processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)218-234
    Number of pages17
    JournalThe Quantitative Methods for Psychology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • ESM
    • EMA
    • Multilevel analysis
    • longitudinal design
    • multilevel analysis
    • MOOD
    • Cyclic models
    • intensive longitudinal data


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