Psychology 442

Test Theory

Spring 2015 Syllabus

Instructor W. Joel Schneider
Office De Garmo 456
Phone (309) 438‒8410
Office hours Wednesdays 1–2, and by appointment
Semester Spring 2015
Lectures MW 11–12:15

Course Objectives


Crocker, L., & Algina, J. (2006). Introduction to classical and modern test theory. Mason, OH: Cengage.

Cronbach L. J. & Meehl, P.E. (1955). Construct validity in psychological tests, Psychological Bulletin, 52, 281–302.



Class Participation

Homework Exercises

Construct Validity Project

This assignment allows you to demonstrate an integrative understanding of the contents of the entire course.

You will design a measure of a psychological construct. The construct should be related to your long-term research interests.

You will submit a project proposal and make an appointment with the instructor to go over your proposal. Verbal approval regarding your topic must be obtained from the instructor before you submit you project proposal. See relevant due dates below.

Design a series of studies which would demonstrate the construct validity of your new measure.

Project Due Dates
Task Date
Obtain Topic Approval 2/25
Submit Project Proposal 3/4
Submit Simulated Data Syntax 4/8
Final Project Report 5/7


The midterm and final exams will involve a closed-notes portion in which no computer will be allowed and an open-notes portion in which a laptop computer will be required.

Grading Procedure

All pass/fail assignments must be passed to receive a grade in the course. With instructor permission, failed assignments may be attempted a second time.

Class Participation 100 points
Homework Exercises 300 points
Construct Validity Project 300 points
Final Exam 300 points
Total 1000 points

Grades are assigned in the traditional manner.

Final Grade
Performance Grade
900–1000 A
800–899 B
700–799 C
600–699 D
0–599 F

Special Accommodations

If you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this class, please contact Disability Concerns at 438‒5853 (voice), 438‒8620 (TDD).

Academic Integrity

Plagiarizing and cheating on exams and other assignments are not tolerated. Any student exhibiting academic dishonesty will receive an F in the course and will be referred for disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may include expulsion from the university.


The best way to reach me is by email or in person, before or after class. I do not check my office telephone messages nearly as often as I check my email. I may, from time to time, email you about various matters.

Additional Information

Tentative Course Outline
Week Topics & Slides Readings & Videos
Jan 12, 14 What is test theory? C&A Ch. 1
Jan 21 Statistical concepts for test theory C&A Ch. 2
Jan 26, 28 Introduction to scaling C&A Ch. 3
Feb 2 Process of test construction C&A Ch. 4
Feb 4 Tests scores as composites C&A Ch. 5
Feb 9 Reliability and the classical true score model C&A Ch. 6
Feb 11

HW 1 Due

Procedures for estimating reliability C&A Ch. 7
Feb 16 Introduction to generalizability theory C&A Ch. 8
Feb 18

HW 2 Due

Reliability coefficients for criterion-referenced tests C&A Ch. 9
Feb 23 C&A Ch. 10
Cronback & Meehl (1955)
Feb 25 Statistical procedures for prediction and classification C&A Ch. 11
Mar 2 Bias in selection C&A Ch. 12
Mar 4 Factor analysis
C&A Ch. 13
Mar 16, 18 Item analysis C&A Ch. 14
Mar 23, 25 Introduction to item response theory C&A Ch. 15
Mar 23, 25 Detecting item bias C&A Ch. 16
Mar 30

HW 3 Due

Correcting for guessing and other scoring methods C&A Ch. 17
Apr 1 Setting standards
Power Analysis via Simulation
C&A Ch. 18
Apr 13, 15 Norms and standard scores C&A Ch. 19
Apr 27, 29

HW 4 Due

Equating scores from different tests C&A Ch. 20
May 6 Final Exam (date and time TBA)
Study Guide