Psychology 405: Psychometric Theory

Psychology 405: Psychometric Theory (Personality Assessment)
William Revelle
Swift 315



Sizable portions of several texts will be assigned.


405 Spring, 2003 Outline:
Week Domain Sub domain Additional Course Notes Problem sets
Week 1I. Individual differences and experimental psychology
  • A. the role of measurement
  • B. Theory of data
Also available as a pdf)
II. Models of measurement metric properties and the problems of scaleexamplesdescriptive
Week 2review of variance/covariance
Week 3
  • A. Correlation and regression
  • B. Multiple and partial correlation--alternative models
Week 4III. Test theory
A. Reliability
  • classical approaches
  • domain sampling
  • latent trait/item response
Week 5B. Validity (predictive and construct)
Week 6C. Structural Models (conceptual introduction to causal models)
Week 7D. Test Construction
  • empirical
  • Homogenous keying
    • clustering procedures
    • factor and principal components analysis
    • rational
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10

405: Psychometric Theory: Class handouts

Overview Also available as a pdf))

Overview of the supplementary readings


Some basic familiarity with each of the following areas is highly recommended. Relevant readings are:

How to view the reading list:

This reading list can be seen as a general set of readings about psychometric theory and personality assessment. Not all of the readings are equally important. References in bold face are considered important and are well worth reading. The other readings are useful background if you want to explore a particular area in more depth. Except for Nunnally and Bernstein, the items on the reading list are not expected to be read for this course. Most of the items are meant to supplement your understanding of each particular area.

In general, the more you understand Nunnally and Bernstein, the more you will understand the lectures. Similarly, the more you ask questions in class, the more you will understand Nunnally and Bernstein. The purpose of understanding Nunnally and Bernstein, of course, is that the more you understand the more you will be able to apply fundamental principles of measurement to your own research. It is the basic assumption of this course that all research can be improved by improving the quality of measurement used in that research.

General Comment:

Questions are encouraged. Remember, you probably are just as confused as your colleagues. Do not believe that you are the only person who does not understand. The overriding purpose of this course is to help you understand the fundamentals of measurement and personality assessment. Please ask questions if you do not understand. In the unlikely case that you are the only person who does not understand something, then see me after class or during office hours for further help.

Some of the lectures are supplemented on the web with links from the syllabus. Also use the Psych Lit and the Social Science Citation Index search engines.

General References

Course Outline and Associated Readings

I. Individual differences and experimental psychology: The role of assessment. II. Models of Measurement III. Test Theory and Practice