Dr Anna Brown is a psychometrician with an established reputation and extensive industry experience. Currently she is teaching psychological methods and conducting research in psychometrics at the School of Psychology. Previously, Anna taught short courses in applied psychometrics at the University of Cambridge, where she also conducted research focusing on modelling response biases in questionnaire data. Anna's industry experiences included research and test development at the research division of the UK largest occupational test publisher, SHL Group, where she had worked as Principal Research Statistician for many years.
Anna holds an MSc degree in Mathematics with distinction and a PhD in Psychology with distinction. Anna's PhD research led to the development of the Thurstonian IRT model described as a breakthrough in scoring of forced-choice questionnaires, and received the 'Best Dissertation' award from the Psychometric Society. Applications of this methodology include the development of an IRT-scored version of Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ32r).
Anna’s research focuses on psychological measurement and psychometric testing, particularly issues in test validity and test fairness. She uses latent variable models including Multidimensional Item Response Theory (MIRT) to model responses to typical performance tests including ipsative questionnaires, and to model response biases in self-report measures and in feedback reports to individuals and organisations.
Past research students
Anna welcomes contact from potential Doctoral students interested in modern psychometric modelling (structural equation modelling, questionnaire design, latent trait modelling, and similar).
Anna is happy to supervise final year and MSc projects related to:
- Faking and impression management in high stakes assessments, for example: situational and personal characteristics linked to applicant ‘faking good’ on employment tests; or patient ‘faking bad’ on diagnostic tests for access to treatments; etc.
- Unmotivated response biases and their impact on test validity, for example: acquiescence, leniency/severity, halo/horn effects etc.
- Measurement of individuals differences, for example: factorial structure of personality constructs, equivalence of measurement models across groups, etc.
Anna is an elected member of the Council of the International Test Commission, chairing its Research and Guidelines Committee. She has served as a reviewer for many journals in the area of psychological measurement, and is a member of the editorial Board of the International Journal of Testing, and a member of the advisory council to the Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science (AMPPS) journal.
Grants and Awards
|2015||Alzheimer's Society |
"C-DEMQOL – Measurement of quality of life in family carers of people with dementia: development of a new instrument for evaluation"
|2014||Department of Health |
"Systematic Review of the Psychometric Properties of ASQ (ASQ-SE)"
|2014||ESRC CASE Studentship |
“Asking the right questions: Increasing fairness and accuracy of personality assessments with Computerised Adaptive Testing”
|2011||The Psychometric Society Dissertation Award (best dissertation)|| |
|2010-2011||The Isaac Newton Trust grant|
“Modern Psychometrics: theoretical and empirical contributions using item response models”: over two financial years
|2010||Dissertation support award from Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology||$1,000|