On 7 July 2023 Damiano D’Urso defended his thesis Safeguarding Psychological Measurement at the university of Tilburg.
Psychological measurement is ubiquitous both in society and academic research, and from its result follow essential conclusions that can severely impact human lives. Valid psychological assessments are, therefore, necessary to ensure that these decisions are based on solid grounds and to advance human knowledge concerning the link between psychological constructs and human behavior. However, measuring psychological characteristics (or constructs) remains inherently complex since these constructs cannot be directly observed. Thus, they are often indirectly measured through the administration of self-report scales, which are designed to provide scores that are assumed to reflect the targeted psychological constructs. These scales usually consist of multiple self-report questions, where, for each question, individuals rate their agreement level by picking one of a few ordered response options, often on a Likert scale (e.g., “disagree”, “neutral”, “agree”). Although extensively used, these self-report scales are at risk of being contaminated by multiple types of biases, which can invalidate conclusions drawn from psychological assessment results. This dissertation encloses a series of methodological contributions about psychometric methods to detect (and correct for) two types of biases that can invalidate psychological measures: test and agreeing bias.
Prof. dr. J. K. Vermunt
Dr. K. De Roover
Dr. J. Tijmstra
Methodology & Statistics department Tilburg University
1 October 2018 – 7 July 2023