Psychology 442

Test Theory

Spring 2017 Syllabus

Instructor W. Joel Schneider
Office De Garmo 456
Phone (309) 438‒8410
Office hours Tuesdays 12pm–1pm and by appointment
Lectures MW 12:35–1:50

Course Objectives


Furr, M. (2011). Scale construction and psychometrics for social and personality psychology. London: Sage.

DeMars, C. (2010). Item response theory. New York: Oxford University Press.

Recommended Reading

Raykov, T., & Marcoulides, G.A. (2011). Introduction to psychometric theory. New York: Routledge.

Shultz, K.S., Whitney, D.J., & Zickar, M.J. (2013). Measurement theory in action : Case studies and exercises (2nd ed.). New York: Taylor & Francis.

Meyer, P. (2010). Understanding Measurement: Reliability. New York: Oxford University Press.



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 your project proposal. See relevant due dates below.

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

Here is a tutorial that may serve as a useful guide for the project.
Project Due Dates
Task Date
Obtain Topic Approval 2/24
Submit Project Proposal 3/2
Submit Simulated Data Syntax 4/17
Final Project Report 4/28


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 200 points
Midterm Exam 200 points
Final Exam 200 points
Construct Validity Project 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

Access and Accommodations

A course should be accessible to all students enrolled in the course. If you notice or anticipate any barriers to your full participation, please let me know. You may also wish to contact Student Access and Accomodations at (309)438‒5853 or

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. Whenever my office door is open, during office hours or not, it means that I am open to questions, comments, and conversation. 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
Topics & Slides Readings & Videos
Jan 18
Introduction to R
Introduction to R Markdown
Furr Ch. 1–2
In-class Exercise 1. Submit by email to me:
Jan 23, 25
Random Variables
Test construction
Data Management
Furr Ch 3
Jan 30, Feb 1
Exploratory Factor Analysis Furr Ch 4
Feb 6, 8
Test Reliability Furr Ch 5
Feb 13, 15
Test Validity Furr Ch 6
Homework 1
Due at 11:59pm Feb.15
Feb 21, 23
Confirmatory Factor Analysis Furr Ch 7
Feb 27, Mar 1
Test Biases Furr Ch 8
Homework 2
Due at 11:59pm Mar.1
Mar 6
Generalizability Theory Furr Ch 9
Mar 8
MidtermStudy Guide
Mar 20, 22
Item Response Theory Furr Ch 10
Mar 27, 29
Apr 3, 5
Diagnostic Decisions DeMars Ch 1–2
Apr 10, 12
Item analysis DeMars Ch 3–4
Homework 3
Due at 11:59pm April 12
Apr 17, 19
Matrix Algebra In R
Composite Statistics
DeMars Ch 5–6
Apr 24, 26
Multidimensional Scaling
Power Analysis via Simulation
Simulations with purr
May 1, 3
Final Exam
Tuesday, May 9, 10AM–12PM
Study Guide