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Tue 15 Oct, Tue 22 Oct, ... Tue 5 Nov 2019
14:00 - 16:00

Venue: 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 5

Provided by: Social Sciences Research Methods Programme


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Tue 15 Oct, Tue 22 Oct, ... Tue 5 Nov 2019


An introduction to the design, validation and implementation of tests and questionnaires in social science research, using both Classical Test Theory (CTT) and modern psychometric methods such as Item Response Theory (IRT). This course aims to enable students to: be able to construct and validate a test or questionnaire; understand the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of existing tests and questionnaires; appreciate the impact and potential of modern psychometric methods in the internet age.

Week 1: Introduction to psychometrics
a. Psychometrics, ancient and modern. Classical Test Theory
b. How to design and build your own psychometric test

Week 2: Testing in the online environment
a. Testing via the internet. How to, plus do’s and don’ts
b. Putting your test online

Week 3: Modern Psychometrics
a. Item Response Theory (IRT) models and their assumptions
b. Advanced assessment using computer adaptive testing

Week 4: Implementing adaptive tests online
a. How to automatically generate ability items
b. Practical

Target audience
  • University Students from Tier 1 Departments
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here

Students are expected to be familiar with basic statistical techniques, up to chi-square, correlation and simple linear regression.


Number of sessions: 4

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Tue 15 Oct 2019   14:00 - 16:00 14:00 - 16:00 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 5 map Dr David Stillwell
2 Tue 22 Oct 2019   14:00 - 16:00 14:00 - 16:00 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 5 map Prof. John Rust
3 Tue 29 Oct 2019   14:00 - 16:00 14:00 - 16:00 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 5 map al935
4 Tue 5 Nov 2019   14:00 - 16:00 14:00 - 16:00 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 5 map Dr Luning Sun

To enable students to understand and use tests and questionnaires in social science research using both classical test theory and modern psychometric methods.

  • Rust, J. And Golombok, S. (2009) Modern Psychometrics 3rd Edition. Routledge.
  • Flynn, J. (2009) What is intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect. CUP.
  • Brown, T. A. (2006) Confirmatory Factor Analysis for Applied Researchers. The Guildford Press, London.
  • de Ayala, R. J. (2008) Theory and Practice of Item Response Theory. Guilford Press.
  • DeVellis, R. F. (2012) Scale Development: Theory and Applications, 3rd Edition. Sage
  • Urbina, S. (2004) Essentials of Psychological Testing. Wiley & Sons, NJ
  • Gierl, M. J., & Haladyna, T. M. (Eds.). (2012). Automatic item generation: Theory and practice. Routledge.
  • Kosinski, M., Matz, S., Gosling, S., Popov, V., Stillwell, D. (2015). Facebook as a Social Science Research Tool: Opportunities, Challenges, Ethical Considerations and Practical Guidelines. American Psychologist. Link
  • Reeve, B. B., Hays, R. D., Bjorner, J. B., Cook, K. F., Crane, P. K., Teresi, J. A. & Liu, H. (2007). Psychometric evaluation and calibration of health-related quality of life item banks: plans for the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). Medical care, 45(5), S22-S31.

NB. This module does not have an SSRMC Moodle page.
Course details can be found here: and here

How to Book

Click the "Booking" panel on the left-hand sidebar (on a phone, this will be via a link called Booking/Availability near the top of the page).


There may be a test at the end of the module, consisting of a written exercise in test construction; for most students, the test is not compulsory.

Booking / availability