Health Psych UTEP

Applied Psychometrics and Research Methods

As a trained quantitative psychologist, I have had an interest in test development and test validation.  In particular, I am interested in determining whether tests measure the same underlying construct equivalently across groups.

A classic example of item bias provided by Dorans and Holland(1991) may further this point.  In the December 1977 administration of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the following verbal analogy item was administered: Decoy: duck

  • (A)       net:butterfly
  • (B)       spider:web
  • (C)       lure:fish
  • (D)       detour:shortcut

Females with equal levels of verbal ability were less likely to answer this item correctly compared with their male counterparts. Can you guess why?  The correct answer to this item is Option C.  In order to answer this correctly, one needs background knowledge of hunting and fishing.  What does hunting and fishing have to do with verbal ability? Nothing. The item is biased against girls.

The assessment of measurement invariance should not be restricted to aptitude tests, as personality measures and other individual difference measures should also be assessed for measurement invariance.  At UTEP, I have had opportunity to work with students in a wide variety of psychometric applications, ranging from the examination of sexual prejudice to the study of alexithymia.

Representative publications (underlined authors represent student authors)
  • Morera, O.F. & Stokes, S.M. (2016). Coefficient α as a Measure of Test Score Reliability: Review of 3 Popular Misconceptions. American Journal of Public Health, 106, 458-461.
  • Morera, O.F. & Castro, F. G (2013).  Important Considerations in Conducting Statistical Mediation Analyses.  American Journal of Public Health, 103, 394-396.
  • Maydeu-Olivares, A., Morera, O. F. & D'Zurilla, T. J.  (1999). Using Graphical Methods in Assessing Measurement Invariance in Inventory Data.  Multivariate Behavioral Research, 34, 397-420.
  • Morera, O. F., Johnson, T. J., Freels, S., Parsons, J., Crittenden, K.S., Flay, B. R. & Warnecke, R. B.  (1998). The Measure of Stage of Readiness to Change: Some Psychometric Considerations.  Psychological Assessment, 10(2), 182-186.
  • Martinez, S. & Morera, O.F. (in press).  An Investigation of Differential Item Functioning on Two MMPI-2 Scales with a Prison Population.  In R. Velazquez & M. Garrido (Eds.) Handbook of the Latino MMPI-2/MMPI-A: A Research and Application.  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Stoever, C.J., & Morera, O.F. (2007). A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Attitudes toward Lesbians and Gay Men (ATLG) Measure.  Journal of Homosexuality, 52, 189-209.
  • Chun, K.M., Morera, O.F., Andal, J. & Skewes, M.C. (2006).  Conducting Research with Diverse Asian American Groups.  In F. Leung, A. Inman, A. Ebreo, L.Yang, L. Kinoshita, & M. Fiu (Eds.) Handbook of Asian American Psychology, Volume 2. (pp. 47-65).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Culhane, S.E., Morera, O.F. & Watson, P.J. (2006).  The Assessment of Factorial Invariance in Need for Cognition using Hispanic and Anglo samples.  Journal of Psychology, 140, 53-68.
  • Morera, O. F., Culhane, S.E., Watson, P.J. & Skewes, M.C. (2005).  Assessing the Reliability and Validity of the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire Among U.S. Anglo and U.S. Hispanic Samples.  Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 58, 289-298.
  •  Maydeu-Olivares, A., Morera, O. F. & D'Zurilla, T. J.  (1999). Using Graphical Methods in Assessing Measurement Invariance in Inventory Data.  Multivariate Behavioral Research, 34, 397-420.
  • Tanaka, J. S., Ebreo, A., Linn, N. & Morera, O. F.  (1998).  Research Methods: The Construct Validity of Self-Identity and Its Psychological Implications.  In N. Zane & L. C. Lee (Eds.) Handbook of Asian American Psychology (pp. 21-79).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Morera, O. F., Johnson, T. J., Freels, S., Parsons, J., Crittenden, K.S., Flay, B. R. & Warnecke, R. B.  (1998). The Measure of Stage of Readiness to Change: Some Psychometric Considerations.  Psychological Assessment, 10(2), 182-186.