A siren call

The first course that I participate in, as a PhD student, is a course in psychometric, and it will last the whole semester. I have to travel approximately 1,5 hour to get there since it’s located in another part of the county I live in. I wake up at five o’clock and try to go to bed early (before I fall asleep standing…). I have to say, it is such a positive experience. All the participants are friendly and they seems to be competent in their areas. Not to mention our teachers, who are immensely skilled! I feel blessed to get the opportunity to take part in this course of study.

Yesterday we talked about validity and reliability and today, in the morning, our focus was factor analysis. After lunch we started to practice what we’ve been lectured about. Basically, we sat in front of computers trying to estimate different psychometric tests. It was hard but also lots of fun!

Now and again, during these two days I have felt the urge of laughter, not knowing what to think, what to do or say… Occasionally, I’ve been completely lost. Still, in the middle of this misleading trip of psychometric chaos, I’ve manage to redirect myself, past latent variables and dichotomous items toward the water surface. And guess what I found deep down in the ocean? I found a theory who called for me like a siren from the Greek mythology. Don’t think the siren is a dangerous creature but presumably precarious and definitely challenging. The theory that I discovered is called “Item response theory” (IRT) and these videos will cradle me to sleep tonight… Zzzzz…

Photo: Pixabay

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