Vol. 24 No. 3 (2021)

Life planning and migration through the prism of calendar methods for studying social phenomena: Psychology in the Field of Public Safety

Published 12/01/2021


  • calendar methods,
  • mixed methods,
  • life planning,
  • migration

How to Cite

NACHEVA, I., & NEDEVA-ATANASOVA, V. (2021). Life planning and migration through the prism of calendar methods for studying social phenomena: Psychology in the Field of Public Safety. Psychological Research (in the Balkans), 24(3). Retrieved from https://journalofpsychology.org/index.php/1/article/view/5


The study presents a review of the scientific literature in the fields of life planning and application of calendar methods in social research. The essence and the origin of the calendar approaches are considered; an analysis of the advantages and challenges for researchers is presented. The current trends in the field are outlined, as well as recommendations for the design and procedures when working with calendars. Contribution to the field is the analysis of the applicability of calendar methods to research in the realm of migration and life planning. The connections between life planning and other constructs are traced. Special focus is put on the potential of the calendar approaches in the field of socio-psychological research and in particular in the study of psychological determinants of significant life choices.


  1. Politiki za balgarite v chuzhbina [Policies for Bulgarians abroad], 2020, A. Hristova (Ed.), Iz­ datelstvo na BAN ¨Prof. Marin Drinov¨, [Edito­ rial ot BAS ¨Prof. Marin Drinov”], 322 p. (in Bulgarian).
  2. Krumov, K., Larsen, K., Omundsen, R., Van der Veer, K., Ivanova, D., Hristova, P. & Ivanova, S. (2010). Migratsionnoto povedenie: motivatsionen aspekt [Migration behaviour: a motivational aspect]. Godishnik na SU „Sv. Kliment Ohridski“, Filosofski fakultet, Kniga „Psihologia“, tom 100, str. 5-48. ISSN: 0204—9945. (in Bulgarian).
  3. Aleandria, G. & Checchib, A. (2015). Edu­ cational value of autobiographical writings for self-identity development and orienteering, 2015, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sci­ ences, 174, 1189-1201.
  4. Azizli, N., Atkinson, B. E., Baughman, H. M. & Giammarco, E. A. (2015). Relationships between general self-efficacy, planning for the future, and life satisfaction. Personality and In­ dividual Differences, 82, 58-60.
  5. Balán, J., Browning, H., L Jelin, E. & Litzler, L. (1969). A computerized approach to the pro­ cessing and analysis of life histories obtained in sample surveys. Behav. Sci.
  6. Barbeiro. A. & Spin, D. (2017). Calendar in­ terviewing: a mixed methods device for a bio­ graphical approach to migration, Qualitative Research in Psychology, 14:1, 81-107, DOI: 10.1080/14780887.2016.1249581
  7. Belli, R. F. (1998). The structure of autobio­ graphical memory and the event history calen­ dar: Potential improvements in the quality of retrospective reports in surveys. Memory (1998) 6(4), 383-406
  8. Belli, R. F., Shay, W. L. & Stafford, F. P. (2001). Event history calendars and question list surveys: A direct comparison of interviewing methods. Public opinion quarterly, 65(1), 45-74. 0033-362X/2001/6501-0003
  9. Belli, R. F. (2005). Improving the Quality of Retrospective Reports: Calendar Interviewing Methodologies). In C. van Dijkum, J. Blasius, H. Kleïjer & B. van Heiten (Eds.), Proceedings of the RC 33 Sixth International Conference on Social Science Methodology. Recent Devel­ opments and Applications in Social Research Methodology (CD-ROM). Wiesbaden, Germa­ ny: VS Verlag. 2005
  10. Belli, R. F., Bilgen, I. & Al Baghal, T. (2013). Memory, communication, and data quality in calendar interviews. Public opinion quarterly, 77(S1), 194-219.
  11. Belli, R. F., Dee Miller, L., Al Baghal, T. & Leen-Kiat Soh (2016). Using Data Mining to Predict the Occurrence of Respondent, Journal of Official Statistics, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2016, 579- 600, http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/JOS-2016-0030
  12. Conway, M. A. (1992). A structural model of autobiographical memory. In Conway, M. A., Rubin, D., Spinnler, H., Wagenaar, W. A. (eds.) Theoretical Perspectives on Autobiographi­ cal Memory. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht
  13. Cuzzocrea, V. & Mandich, G. (2016). Stu­ dents’ narratives of the future: Imagined mobili­ ties as forms of youth agency? Journal of Youth Studies, 19(4), 552-567.
  14. Devadason, R. (2008). To plan or not to plan? Young adult future orientations in two European cities. Sociology, 42(6), 1127-1145.
  15. Engel, L., Keifer, M. & Zahm, S. (2001) Com­ parison of a traditional questionnaire with an icon/calendar-based questionnaire to assess occu­ pational history. Am. J. Indus. Med. 40, 502-511.
  16. Findlay, A., Prazeres, L., McCollum, D. & Packwood, H. (2017). It was always the plan’: international study as ‘learning to migrate. Area, 49(2), 192-199.
  17. Freedman, D., Thornton, A., Camburn, D., Alwin, D. & Young-DeMarcco, L. (1988). The life history calendar: A technique for collecting retrospective data. Sociol. Methodol. 18, 37-68.
  18. Friedman, S. L. & Scholnick, E. K. (Eds.). (2014). The developmental psychology of plan­ ning: Why, how, and when do we plan?. Psychology Press.
  19. Glasner, T., van der Vaart, W. & Belli, R. F. (2012). Calendar interviewing and the use of landmark events–implications for cross-cultural surveys. Bulletin of Sociological Methodology/ Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique, 115(1), 45-52. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/psych­ facpub/653.
  20. Glasner, T., van der Vaart, W. (2009). Applica­ tions of calendar instruments in social surveys: a review. Qual Quant 43, 333-349 (2009). https:// doi.org/10.1007/s11135-007-9129-8
  21. Hansen, S. S. (2011). Integrative life planning: A holistic approach. Journal of Employment Counseling, 48(4), 167-169.
  22. Heckhausen, J. (2007). The motivation-vo­ lition divide and its resolution in action-phase models of developmental regulation. Research in Human Development, 4 (3-4), 163-180.
  23. Hoogendoorn, A. W. (2004) A questionnaire design for dependent interviewing that ad­ dresses the problem of cognitive satisficing. J. Off. Stat. 20(2), 219–232.
  24. Kawashima, K. (2018). Longer-term conse­quences of ‘youth’migration: Japanese tempo­ rary migrants in China and the life course. Jour­ nal of Intercultural Studies, 39(6), 658-672.
  25. Kley, S. (2011). Explaining the stages of migra­ tion within a life-course framework. European sociological review, 27(4), 469-486.
  26. Martyn, K. K. & Martin, R. (2003). Adoles­ cent sexual risk assessment. J. Midwifery Wom­ ens Health, 48(3), 213-219.
  27. Nurmi, J. E. (1991). How do adolescents see their future? A review of the development of future orientation and planning. Developmental review, 11(1), 1-59.
  28. Ongena, Y. P., Haan, M. & Dijkstra, W. (2018). Multinational Event History Calendar Interviewing. Advances in Comparative Sur­ vey Methods: Multinational, Multiregional, and Multicultural Contexts (3MC), 643-664c.
  29. Pascale, J. & McGee, A. (2008). A Multi‐Meth­ od Evaluation of the Use of an Event History Calendar. Washington, DC: US Census Bureau.
  30. Prenda, K. M. & Lachman, M. E. (2001). Plan­ ning for the future: a life management strategy for increasing control and life satisfaction in adult­ hood. Psychology and aging, 16(2), 206-216.
  31. Rogers, C. R. (2007). ‘The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic person­ ality change’, Psychotherapy: Theory, Re­ search, Practice, Training, vol. 44, pp. 240-8, doi:10.1037/0033-3204.44.3.240.
  32. Schwarz, N. & Sudman, S. (1994). Autobio­ graphical Memory and the Validity of Retrospec­ tive Reports. Springer-Verlag, New York (1994).
  33. Tourangeau, R., Rips, L. & Rasinski, K. A. (2000). The Psychology of Survey Response. Cambridge University Press,Cambridge .
  34. Wingens, M, de Valk, H, Windzio, M. & Aybek, C. (2011). ‘The sociological life-course approach and research on migration and integra­ tion’, in: A life-course perspective on migration and integration, Springer, New York, pp. 1-26.
  35. Van der Vaart, W. & Glasner, T. J. (2005). Enhancing recall accuracy in surveys by cogni­ tively tailored timeline methods: A record check study. Paper presented at the First EASR Con­ ference, Barcelona.