Training

We currently offer workshops on Multilevel Modeling, Structural Equation Modeling, Structural Equation Models for Longitudinal Data, and Mixture Models and Cluster Analysis. We also provide individually tailored instruction to groups with specific data analytic needs.

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Consulting

We provide consulting services on each phase of the research process, from study design to the application and interpretation of quantitative methods. We offer several modes of consulting to suit a variety of needs.

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Informing

We seek to provide you with the information you need to be a knowledgeable user of quantitative methods, including updates on ongoing developments in the field, discussion of common data analytic concerns, and tutorials on commonly used techniques.

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Latest News

New Guidelines for Obtaining Optimal Scale Scores

tracelines2By far one of the most challenging aspects of any empirical research application is how to best obtain valid and reliable scale scores of the theoretical constructs under study. The field of psychometrics has given rise to a myriad of methods for designing assessments, evaluating dimensionality, and estimating person-specific scores for subsequent analysis. The traditional approach to scoring is to calculate a simple mean of a set of items. However, this method is characterized by several well-known limitations that can combine to reduce both the reliability and the validity of the resulting score. More advanced methods draw on the item response theory and factor analysis traditions to obtain factor scores in which item unreliability is an explicit part of the model and items can differentially contribute to the calculation of the scale score. However, these approaches do not allow for the inclusion of the effects of individual-difference measures such as age, gender, ethnicity, or any other covariate of potential interest. Our group has worked on this problem for a number of years, and we recently published a paper that empirically demonstrates the improvement in score estimation when exogenous covariates are included in the scoring model. We also published a second paper that proposes a specific set of steps for implementing these models in practice, and a third paper that contrasts this approach to more conventional alternatives measurement models. We believe these papers add to the broader literature that continues to work toward the improvement of score estimation in applied research settings.