Entries by Nathan Thompson, PhD

How do I implement item response theory?

I recently received a email from a researcher that wanted to implement item response theory, but was not sure where to start.  It occurred to me that there are plenty of resources out there which describe IRT but few, if any, that provide guidance for how someone new to the topic could apply IRT.  That is, plenty […]

What is a rubric?

What is a rubric? It’s a rule for converting unstructured responses on an assessment into structured data that we can use psychometrically. Why do we need rubrics? Measurement is a quantitative endeavor.  In psychometrics, we are trying to measure things like knowledge, achievement, aptitude, or skills.  So we need a way to convert qualitative data […]

Identifying and Dealing With Threats To Test Security

Test security is an increasingly important topic. There are several causes, including globalization, technological enhancements, and the move to a gig-based economy driven by credentials. Any organization that sponsors assessments that have any stakes tied to them must be concerned with security, as the greater the stakes, the greater the incentive to cheat. And any […]

What is psychometrics supposed to be doing?

Today I read an article in The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist (the colloquial journal published by the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology) that really resonated with me. Has Industrial-Organizational Psychology Lost Its Way? -Deniz S. Ones, Robert B. Kaiser, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Cicek Svensson Why?  Because I think a lot of the points they are making are also true […]

ASC Drives Thought Leadership at 2017 Innovations in Testing Conference

I just returned from the 2017 Innovations in Testing conference in Scottsdale, AZ, organized by the Association of Test Publishers.  This is one of my favorite conferences because it contains a compelling blend of ingredients – quality psychometrics, innovative technology, and the business of assessment – and the 2017 edition definitely did not disappoint. This year I was […]

How do I conduct a modified-Angoff study?

There are a number of acceptable methodologies in the psyychometric literature for standard setting studies, also known as cutscores or passing points.  Examples include Angoff, modified-Angoff, Bookmark, Contrasting Groups, and Borderline.  The modified-Angoff approach is by far the most commonly used, yet it remains a black box to many professionals in the testing industry, especially non-psychometricians […]