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Measurement in Behavioral Sciences

Research group Measurement and assessment of knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes, regularly take place in our society, and especially in relation to education.

Measurement and assessment of knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes, regularly take place in our society, and especially in relation to education.

The instruments and methods used for these measurements, their interpretation, and use, can give valuable information but can also lead to different kinds of consequences, for individuals, schools or for society at large.

The research carried out within the field of Measurement in the Behavioral Sciences focuses on validity issues related to such instruments, but also on individual differences in learning and educational attainment and on measurement processes in a more general perspective.

Our current research projects have different kinds of applications, such as summative and formative assessments and grading in the classroom, large-scale surveys, test development, selection to higher education, and how to measure cognitive and non-cognitive variables such as, intelligence, working memory,  motivation, aspects of empathy, and attitudes.

The studies within these projects focus on issues such as how students or test takers are affected by being assessed or tested, how grading, cognitive abilities, and personality affects teaching and learning, how high-quality tests and similar instruments should be developed. Moreover how existing tests work in practice, if large scale tests or surveys really meet their purposes, how latent variables can be identified and measured and how a fair selection to closed study places should be designed.

The research carried out has large relevance for education and social science, both nationally and internationally, and contributes with new knowledge from empirical results, but also new approaches in the development of theory and methodology for analysis of large scale data. The research environment offers broad competence and extensive knowledge within the field of educational measurement. Several of our research projects have an interdisciplinary profile, with researchers and research traditions in education, psychology and psychometrics in collaboration.

The department has, since many years a contract to develop the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test, the SweSAT, and the national tests in mathematics and science for Swedish elementary and upper secondary schools.

Head of research

Overview

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Applied Educational Science Research

Research area

Educational sciences, Pedagogy