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Psychometrics: An Introduction


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Table of Contents

1. Psychometrics and the Importance of Psychological Measurement
Observable Behavior and Unobservable Attributes
Psychological Tests: Definition and Types
Challenges to Measurement in Psychology
Theme: The Importance of Individual Differences
2. Scaling
Fundamental Issues and Numbers
Units of Measurement
Additivity and Counting
Four Scales of Measurement
Suggested Readings
3. Individual Differences and Correlations
The Nature of Variability
Importance of Individual Differences
Variability and Distribution of Scores
Distribution Shapes and Normal Distributions
Quantifying the Association Between Distributions
Variance of “Composite Scores”
Interpreting Test Scores
Test Norms
Suggested Readings
4. Test Dimensionality and Factor Analysis
Test Dimensionality
Factor Analysis: Examining the Dimensionality of a Test
Suggested Readings
5. Reliability: Conceptual Basis
Overview of Reliability and Classical Test Theory
Observed Scores, True Scores and Measurement Error
Variances in Observed Scores, True Scores and Error Scores
Four Ways to Think of Reliability
Reliability and the Standard Error of Measurement
Parallel Tests
6. Empirical Estimates of Reliability
Alternate Forms Reliability
Test-Retest Reliability
Internal Consistency Reliability
Factors Affecting the Reliability of Test Scores
Sample Homogeneity and Reliability Generalization
Reliability of Difference Scores
7. Importance of Reliability
Behavioral Research
Applied Behavioral Practice: Evaluation of an Individual’s Test Score
Test Construction and Refinement
Suggested Readings
8. Validity: The Conceptual Basis
What is Validity?
Validity Evidence: Test Content
Validity Evidence: Internal Structure of the Test
Validity Evidence: Response Processes
Validity Evidence: Associations with Other Variables
Validity Evidence: Consequences of Testing
Other Perspectives on Validity
Contrasting Reliability and Validity
The Importance of Validity
Suggested Readings
9. Validity: Estimating and Evaluating Convergent and Discriminant Validity
Methods for Evaluating Convergent and Discriminant Validity
Factors Affecting a Validity Coefficient
Interpreting a Validity Coefficient
Suggested Readings
10. Response Biases
Types of Response Biases
Methods for Coping with Response Biases
Response Biases, Response Sets, and Response Styles
Suggested Readings
11. Test Bias
Why Worry about Test Score Bias
Detecting Construct Bias: Internal Evaluation of a Test
Detecting Predictive Bias: External Evaluation of a Test
Suggested Readings
12. Generalizability Theory
Multiple Facets of Measurement
Generalizability and Variance Components
G Studies and D Studies
Conducting and Interpreting Generalizability Theory Analysis: A One-facet
Conducting and Interpreting Generalizability Theory Analysis: A Two-facet
Other Measurement Designs
Suggested Readings
13. Item Response Theory and Rasch Models
Basics of IRT
IRT Measurement Models
An Example of IRT: A Rasch Model
Item and Test Information
Applications of IRT
Suggested Readings

About the Author

Michael Furr is Professor of Psychology and Wright Faculty Fellow at Wake Forest University, where he teaches and conducts research in personality psychology, psychological measurement, and quantitative methods. He earned a BA from the College of William and Mary, an MS from Villanova University, and a PhD from the University of California at Riverside. He is an editor of the “Statistical Developments and Applications” section of the Journal of Personality Assessment, a former associate editor of the Journal of Research in Personality, a former executive editor of the Journal of Social Psychology, and a consulting editor for several other scholarly journals. He received Wake Forest University’s 2012 Award for Excellence in Research, and he won the Society for Personality Assessment’s 2017 Bruno Klopfer Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Literature in Personality Assessment,. He is a fellow of Divisions 5 (Quantitative and Qualitative Methods) and 8 (Social and Personality Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and a fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Verne R. Bacharach is professor of psychology at Appalachian State University. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Alabama, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and Acadia University in Nova Scotia and has chaired the departments at Appalachian State and Acadia. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in statistics, tests and measurements, and research methods for nearly 40 years. He has a long journal publication history of research and review articles. Dr. Bacharach obtained a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Kansas in 1971.

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