Applying the Event History Calendar as a cooperative data collection tool: visual, emotional and interactive aspects

Wander van der Vaart, V. Torres van Grinsven

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Abstract/Poster in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


This presentation addresses the question how Event History Calendar methodology might be
applied in collaborative research settings to enhance data collection from hard to study people, like those with social or cognitive disabilities. Core to the Event History Calendar (EHC)
is the use of a graphical timeframe that aims to facilitate access to long-term memory and
help participants to interconnect events mentally and/or visually. The presentation focuses
on the role that the visual EHC tool may have in moderating the interaction between interviewer and interviewee and in creating a collaborative setting that allows for gathering sensitive and threatening data.
The method used is an analytic literature study, reviewing EHC features and relating them to
cognitive, emotional and relational aspects of data collection. We will present diverse theoretical ideas and analyse them using empirical examples.
Results indicate that the visual display of the EHC makes it easier to refer indirectly (e.g.,
without words) to sensitive or threatening topics, resulting in more self-disclosure. On the
other hand, the visual display of sensitive information (e.g., stressful events) also may evoke
emotional reactions in interviewers and interviewees, heightening emotional distress (Yoshihama, 2009; Martyn, 2009; Nelson, 2010).
Conclusions will be drawn about how the EHC as a cooperative effort between interviewers
and participants may affect rapport and self-disclosure, and how the visual data collection
procedure interacts with this. The EHC approaches and features presented may help building
interactive, participatory data collection procedures that adequately fit hard to reach populations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstractband zum 3. Kongress der Teilhabeforschung 2023
EditorsTobias Bernasconi, Caren Keeley
Place of PublicationCologne
PublisherAktionsbundnis Teilhabeforschung
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)9783000767401
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023
Event3. Kongress der Teilhabeforschung - University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Duration: 21 Sept 202322 Sept 2023
Conference number: 3


Conference3. Kongress der Teilhabeforschung
Internet address


  • inclusion
  • participation
  • participatory design
  • Mixed methods research
  • data collection


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