Anna-Lena Schubert, Heidelberg University

Psychometric and mathematical modeling approaches to the measurement of individual differences in cognitive processes

Invited Speaker

The aim of cognitive psychometrics is to measure individual differences in parameters of cognitive processes. Often, these parameters are measured as performances indicators (e.g., response times or accuracies) in tasks supposedly engaging one specific cognitive process. This approach presumes that a specific task provides a process-pure measure of a single cognitive process—an assumption that is often violated as most cognitive tasks do not measure one specific cognitive process, but rather a combination of several cognitive processes. In this talk, I will discuss latent change and bifactor models as modeling approaches that may help to overcome this conceptual problem by modeling interindividual differences in intraindividual differences between experimental conditions. Special consideration will be given to recent studies suggesting negligible variance and substantial interindividual heterogeneity in these intraindividual experimental effects (Rey-Mermet, Gade, & Oberauer, 2018; Rouder & Haaf, 2018). Moreover, I will demonstrate how mathematical models of cognition can be used to directly quantify individual differences in specific cognitive processes without relying on the assumption of pure insertion. I will highlight several cognitive models that may be of particular interest for cognitive psychometrics and discuss particularities of the psychometric modeling of model parameters, such as their hierarchical nature and their typically low-to-moderate consistencies.

(Both to her and our great regret, Anna-Lena Schubert had to cancel her talk at IMPS 2019.)


Anna-Lena Schubert

Anna-Lena Schubert works as an assistant professor at the Section of Personality Research at Heidelberg University in Germany. She completed her PhD on the relationship between mental speed and mental abilities at Heidelberg University in 2016 and has since been working on the neurocognitive processes underlying general cognitive abilities at Heidelberg University and the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include the measurement and manipulation of neurocognitive processes related to general intelligence. For this purpose, she has been working on the psychometrics of electrophysiological data and mathematical models of cognition to overcome measurement problems with the goal to link theoretically guided measures of cognitive processes with individual differences in cognitive abilities. Her work integrates psychometrics with cognitive psychology, electrophysiology, and individual differences research.

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