Psychology 405: Psychometric Theory



Sizable portions of several texts will be assigned.


Course Outline

(last revision April 29, 2019)

See the old syllabus for more detail

405 Spring 2019 Outline:
Last revised June 2, 2019
Week Domain Readings Additional Course Notes Problem sets
Week 1I. IDs and experimental psychology Chapter 1: the role of measurement
Chapter 2 : Theory of data
Theory of Data
Getting started with R
homework #1 with answers
II. Models of measurement Chapter 3: The problem of scale metric properties and the problems of scale
also see the overall week 1 notes (above)
homework with answers
Week 2
Correlation and regression (revised)
Chapter 4: Correlation
Appendix D: Review of Matrix Algebra
Notes reviewing matrix algebra (revised)
John Fox's review of matrices
Using R for statistics
An even shorter guide to R
Appendix-A: Using R
Appendix-B: R - commands
Chapter 3: The problem of scale
problem set 2 (using R)
the problems include the answers
More regression examples
Week 3 Correlation and regression (revised) Chapter 5 Multiple Correlation Regression using R
Multiple and partial correlation--alternative models
simple regression problem
Week 4III. Latent variable models
Chapter 6: Constructs, Components and Factors

Factor analysis (revised notes)
Factor analysis (original notes)
factor and principal components analysis
Examples of using R to do factor analysis
Simplex structures and item difficulty criteria for number of factors
clustering procedures
Week 6IV. Test theory
Chapter 7: Classical Test theory
Reliability (New)
Reliability (revised) (notes)
  • classical approaches
  • domain sampling
  • latent trait/item response
  • More on reliability (revised)reliability hw
    reliability hw answers
    even more readable aswers
    Week 6B. Validity (predictive and construct) Midterm
    midterm sample
    Week 6validity + reliability = structural modelsC. Structural Models (conceptual introduction to causal models) Scoring a test (an example)
    Week 7D. Test Construction
    Week 8Personality Taxonomies
    The data box
    Structural Equation Modeling
    EFA and CFA
    Supplementary (excessive?) reading
    sem.chapter 3
    sem.chapter 4
    sem.chapter 5
    sem.chapter 6
    Week 9Summary of Psychometric theory
    Week 10Review

    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