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  1. In psychophysics and psychometrics, an integral method to the discipline involves charting how a person’s response pattern changes according to a continuum of stimuli. For instance, in hearing science, Visual Analog Scaling tasks are experiments in which listeners hear sounds across a speech continuum and give a numeric rating between 0 and 100 conveying whether the sound they heard was more like word “a” or more like word “b” (i.e. each participant is giving a continuous categorization response). By taking all the continuous categorization responses across the speech continuum, a parametric curve model can be fit to the data and used to analyze any individual’s response pattern by speech continuum. Standard statistical modeling techniques are not able to accommodate all of the specific requirements needed to analyze these data. Thus, Bayesian hierarchical modeling techniques are employed to accommodate group-level non-linear curves, individual-specific non-linear curves, continuum-level random effects, and a subject-specific variance that is predicted by other model parameters. In this paper, a Bayesian hierarchical model is constructed to model the data from a Visual Analog Scaling task study of mono-lingual and bi-lingual participants. Any nonlinear curve function could be used and we demonstrate the technique using the 4-parameter logistic function. Overall, the model was found to fit particularly well to the data from the study and results suggested that the magnitude of the slope was what most defined the differences in response patterns between continua.

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  2. Abstract Background Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is a methodology involving repeated surveys to collect in-situ self-reports that describe respondents' current or recent experiences. Audiology literature comparing in-situ and retrospective self-reports is scarce. Purpose To compare the sensitivity of in-situ and retrospective self-reports in detecting the outcome difference between hearing aid technologies, and to determine the association between in-situ and retrospective self-reports. Research Design An observational study. Study Sample Thirty-nine older adults with hearing loss. Data Collection and Analysis The study was part of a larger clinical trial that compared the outcomes of a prototype hearing aid (denoted as HA1) and a commercially available device (HA2). In each trial condition, participants wore hearing aids for 4 weeks. Outcomes were measured using EMA and retrospective questionnaires. To ensure that the outcome data could be directly compared, the Glasgow Hearing Aid Benefit Profile was administered as an in-situ self-report (denoted as EMA-GHABP) and as a retrospective questionnaire (retro-GHABP). Linear mixed models were used to determine if the EMA- and retro-GHABP could detect the outcome difference between HA1 and HA2. Correlation analyses were used to examine the association between EMA- and retro-GHABP. Results For the EMA-GHABP, HA2 had significantly higher (better) scores than HA1 in the GHABP subscales of benefit, residual disability, and satisfaction (p = 0.029–0.0015). In contrast, the difference in the retro-GHABP score between HA1 and HA2 was significant only in the satisfaction subscale (p = 0.0004). The correlations between the EMA- and retro-GHABP were significant in all subscales (p = 0.0004 to <0.0001). The strength of the association ranged from weak to moderate (r = 0.28–0.58). Finally, the exit interview indicated that 29 participants (74.4%) preferred HA2 over HA1. Conclusion The study suggests that in-situ self-reports collected using EMA could have a higher sensitivity than retrospective questionnaires. Therefore, EMA is worth considering in clinical trials that aim to compare the outcomes of different hearing aid technologies. The weak to moderate association between in-situ and retrospective self-reports suggests that these two types of measures assess different aspects of hearing aid outcomes. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
  4. Abstract Background Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) often requires respondents to complete surveys in the moment to report real-time experiences. Because EMA may seem disruptive or intrusive, respondents may not complete surveys as directed in certain circumstances. Purpose This article aims to determine the effect of environmental characteristics on the likelihood of instances where respondents do not complete EMA surveys (referred to as survey incompletion), and to estimate the impact of survey incompletion on EMA self-report data. Research Design An observational study. Study Sample Ten adults hearing aid (HA) users. Data Collection and Analysis Experienced, bilateral HA users were recruited and fit with study HAs. The study HAs were equipped with real-time data loggers, an algorithm that logged the data generated by HAs (e.g., overall sound level, environment classification, and feature status including microphone mode and amount of gain reduction). The study HAs were also connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, which collected the real-time data logging data as well as presented the participants with EMA surveys about their listening environments and experiences. The participants were sent out to wear the HAs and complete surveys for 1 week. Real-time data logging was triggered when participants completed surveys and when participants ignored or snoozed surveys. Data logging data were used to estimate the effect of environmental characteristics on the likelihood of survey incompletion, and to predict participants' responses to survey questions in the instances of survey incompletion. Results Across the 10 participants, 715 surveys were completed and survey incompletion occurred 228 times. Mixed effects logistic regression models indicated that survey incompletion was more likely to happen in the environments that were less quiet and contained more speech, noise, and machine sounds, and in the environments wherein directional microphones and noise reduction algorithms were enabled. The results of survey response prediction further indicated that the participants could have reported more challenging environments and more listening difficulty in the instances of survey incompletion. However, the difference in the distribution of survey responses between the observed responses and the combined observed and predicted responses was small. Conclusion The present study indicates that EMA survey incompletion occurs systematically. Although survey incompletion could bias EMA self-report data, the impact is likely to be small. 
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