Award Date

December 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Russell T. Hurlburt

Second Committee Member

Christopher L. Heavey

Third Committee Member

Kimberly A. Barchard

Fourth Committee Member

Douglas A. Unger

Number of Pages



Hurlburt (2009) asserts that iterative training is an essential component of the Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) method and that interviews of untrained participants are generally characterized by presuppositions about experience and miscommunication rather than pristine experience. Hurlburt and Heavey (2015) further assert that other experience sampling methods (e.g., the Experience Sampling Method) are inadequate due to the minimal training provided in those paradigms. In Study 1, we sought to determine whether DES interviewees decrease in density of subjunctification (i.e., behavioral and verbal indicators that an interviewee is not providing a straightforward account of inner experience) across multiple sampling days, which would suggest that they would improve at describing pristine experience as a result of building skill. We trained research assistants to rate levels of subjunctification in 90 brief videos showing DES interviewees in the DES interview. Raters saw no differences between levels of subjunctification in interviewees’ first and fourth days of sampling, and we concluded that subjunctification does not adequately measure an interviewee’s skill at DES. In Study 2, we asked experienced DES investigators to rate access to experience (i.e., how skilled the interviewee was at apprehending and describing experience) in the same brief videos of DES interviews. Each of five experienced DES raters saw access to experience to increase, on average, between interviewees’ first and fourth days of sampling, and we concluded that DES interviewees increase skills at apprehending and describing inner experience as a result of the iterative process.


descriptive experience sampling; inner experience; interview; iterative; subjunctive



File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit

Included in

Psychology Commons