Modern Psychometrics : The Science of Psychological Assessment book cover
4th Edition

Modern Psychometrics
The Science of Psychological Assessment

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 22, 2020
ISBN 9781138638655
December 22, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
192 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This popular text introduces the reader to all aspects of psychometric assessment, including its history, how to construct and administer traditional tests and the latest techniques for psychometric assessment online.

Rust, Kosinski and Stillwell begin with a comprehensive introduction to the increased sophistication in psychometric methods and regulation that took place during the 20th century, including the many benefits to governments, businesses and customers. In this new edition, the authors explore the increasing influence of the internet wherein everything we do online is available for psychometric analysis, often by AI systems operating at scale and in real time. The intended and unintended consequences of this paradigm shift are examined in detail, and key controversies, such as privacy and the psychographic microtargeting of online messages, are addressed. Furthermore, this new edition includes brand new chapters on Item Response Theory, Computer-Adaptive Testing, and the psychometric analysis of the digital traces we all leave online.

Modern Psychometrics combines an up to date scientific approach with full consideration of the political and ethical issues involved in the implementation of psychometrics testing in today’s society. It will be invaluable to both undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as practitioners who are seeking an introduction to modern psychometric methods.

Table of Contents


1. The history and evolution of psychometric testing

  1. Introduction
  2. What is psychometrics?
  3. Psychometrics in the 21st century
  4. History of Assessment
    1. Chinese origins

      The ability to learn

      The nineteenth century

  5. Beginnings of psychometrics as a science
    1. Intelligence testing

      Eugenics and the dark decades

  6. Psychometric testing of ability
    1. The dark ages come to an end

      An abundance of abilities

  7. Tests of other psychological constructs
    1. Personality








  8. Conclusion

2. Constructing your own psychometric questionnaire

  1. The purpose of the questionnaire
  2. Making a blueprint
  3. Writing items
    1. Alternate-choice item

      Multiple-choice item

      Rating-scale item

      All questionnaires

      Knowledge-based questionnaires

      Person-based questionnaires

  4. Designing the questionnaire
  5. Piloting the questionnaire
  6. Item analysis
    1. Facility



  7. Obtaining the reliability
    1. Cronbach’s alpha

      Split-half reliability

  8. Assessing validity
    1. Face validity

      Content validity

  9. Standardization

3. The Psychometric principles

  1. Reliability
    1. Test-retest reliability

      Parallel-forms reliability

      Split-half reliability

      Inter-rater reliability

      Internal consistency

      The standard error of measurement (SEM)

      Comparing test reliabilities

      Restriction of range

  2. Validity
    1. Face validity

      Content validity

      Predictive validity

      Concurrent validity

      Construct validity

      Differential validity

  3. Standardization
    1. Norm referencing


      Stanine scores

      Sten scores

      IQ scores

      Algebraic normalization

      Percentile-equivalent normalization

      Criterion referencing

  4. Equivalence
    1. Differential item functioning

      Measurement invariance

      Adverse impact

  5. Summary

4. Psychometric measurement

  1. True Score Theory
  2. The identification of latent traits with factor analysis
    1. Spearman’s two-factor theory

      Vector algebra and factor rotation

      Moving into more dimensions

      Multidimensional scaling

  3. The application of factor analysis to test construction
    1. Identifying the number of factors

      The Kaiser criteria

      The Cattell scree technique

  4. Factor rotation
    1. Rotation to simple structure

      Orthogonal rotation

      Oblique rotation

  5. Limitations of the classical factor analysis approach
  6. Criticism of psychometric measurement theory
    1. The Platonic true score

      Psychological versus physical true scores

      Functional assessment and competency testing

      Machine learning and the black box

  7. Summary

5. Item Response Theory and Computer Adaptive Testing

  1. Introduction
  2. Item banks
    1. The Rasch model

      Assessment of educational standards

      The Birnbaum model

  3. The evolution of modern psychometrics
    1. Computer Adaptive Testing

      Item equating

      Polytomous IRT

  4. An intuitive graphical description of Item Response Theory
    1. Limitations of Classical Test Theory

  5. A graphical Introduction to Item Response Theory
    1. The logistic curve

      3PL-model: Difficulty parameter

      3PL model: Discrimination parameter

      3PL model: Guessing parameter

      The Fisher Information Function

      The Test Information Function and Its relationship to the Standard Error of Measurement

      How to score an IRT test

  6. Principles of Computer Adaptive Testing
  7. Summary of Item Response Theory
  8. Confirmatory Factor Analysis

6. Personality theory

  1. Theories of personality
    1. Psychoanalytic theory

      Humanistic theory

      Social learning theory

      Behavioral genetics

  2. Type and trait theories of personality
  3. Different approaches to personality assessment
    1. Self report techniques and personality profiles

      Reports by others

      Online digital footprints

      Situational assessments

      Projective measures

      Observations of behavior

      Task performance methods

      Polygraph methods

      Repertory grids

  4. Sources and management of bias
    1. Self report techniques

      Reports by others

      Online digital footprints

      Situational assessments

      Projective measures

      Observations of behavior

      Task performance methods


      Repertory grids

  5. Informal methods of personality assessment
  6. State versus trait measures
  7. Ipsative scaling
  8. Spurious validity and the Barnum Effect
  9. Summary

7. Personality assessment in the workplace

  1. Prediction of successful employment outcomes
    1. Validation of personality questionnaires previously used in employment

      Historical antecedents to the five-factor model

      Stability of the five-factor model

      Cross-cultural aspects of the five-factor model

      Scale independence and the role of facets

      Challenges to scale construction for the five-factor model

      Impression management


      Response bias and factor structure

      Development of the five OBPI personality scales

  2. Assessing counterproductive behavior at work
    1. The impact of behaviorism

      Pre-psychological theories of integrity

      Modern integrity testing

      Psychiatry and the medical model

      The dysfunctional tendencies

      The dark triad

      Assessing integrity at work

      The OBPI integrity scales

  3. Conclusion

8. Employing digital footprints in psychometrics

  1. Introduction
  2. Types of digital footprint
    1. Usage logs

      Language data

      Mobile sensors

      Images and audiovisual data

  3. Typical applications of digital footprints in psychometrics
    1. Replacing and complimenting traditional measures

      New contexts and new constructs

      Predicting future behavior

      Studying human behavior

      Supporting the development of traditional measures

  4. Advantages and challenges of employing digital footprints in psychometrics
    1. High ecological validity

      More detailed and longitudinal

      Less control over the assessment environment

      Faster and less obtrusive

      Less privacy and control

      No anonymity


      Enriching existing constructs

  5. Developing digital-footprint-based psychometric measures
  6. Collecting digital footprints
    1. How much data is needed?

  7. Preparing digital footprints for analysis
    1. Respondent-footprint matrix

      Data sparsity

  8. Reducing the dimensionality of the respondent-footprint matrix
    1. Singular value decomposition

      Latent Dirichlet allocation

  9. Building prediction models

9. Psychometrics in the era of the intelligent machine

  1. History of computerization in psychometrics
    1. Computerized statistics

      Computerized item banks

      Computerized item generation

      Automated advice and report systems

  2. The evolution of AI in psychometrics
    1. Expert systems

      Neural networks (machine learning)

      Parallel processing

      Predicting with statistics and machine learning


  3. Psychometrics in cyberspace
    1. What and where is cyberspace

      The medium is the message

  4. Moral development in AI
    1. Kohlberg’s theory of moral development

      Do machines have morals?

      The laws of robotics

      Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

  5. Conclusion

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John Rust is the founder of The Psychometrics Centre at the University of Cambridge, UK. He is a Senior Member of Darwin College, UK and an Associate Fellow of The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge, UK.

Michal Kosinski is Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, USA.

David Stillwell is Academic Director of The Psychometrics Centre at the University of Cambridge, UK. He is also a Lecturer in Big Data Analytics and Quantitative Social Psychology at the Cambridge Judge Business School, UK.


"There is a robust science for predicting and explaining what people do in any area of life, and this remarkable book, by three leading scholars, will forever change the way you think about human behavior: a true masterpiece!" – Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Columbia University, USA and University College, UK.

"Measurement is the foundation of all science, and Psychology is no exception. So, with its authoritative, updated, and comprehensive coverage of psychometrics, this volume is set to become the go-to guide for any serious psychological scientist." Sam Gosling, University of Texas, USA.

"The science of psychometrics is already changing our lives. For better or worse, it will shape our digital futures. This welcome new edition to the classic introduction to the field could hardly be more timely. "Huw Price, University of Cambridge, UK.