# Contemporary or modern psychometrics

## Contents

That is certainly a minor issue of terminology, but what is best: “contemporary” or “modern” psychometrics?

I have often encountered the term *modern* psychometrics when speaking of Item Response Theory models as opposed to the Classical Test Theory approach where all statistical indicators rely on untransformed (raw) scores. There is even a book with this title, precisely:
Rust, J. and Golombok, *Modern Psychometrics: Science of Psychological Assessment*, 2008, 3rd ed., Routledge.

I don’t have this book but the table of content does suggest that no particular chapter is devoted to IRT, but it rather looks like a discussion of the foundation of measurement and test theory, much like *The **new** psychometrics: science, psychology, and measurement* (emphasis is mine), by Paul Kline (Routledge, 1998), with applications in intelligence and personality assessment.

On the contrary, the *Handbook Statistics, volume 26* (North Holland, 2006), includes a larger number of chapters describing the foundations and applications of IRT models. I recently brought another book which looks very interesting as it features distinct chapters for factor-analytic models, structural equation modeling, multidmensional scaling (an often forgotten aspect of psychometrics):
Maydeu-Olivares, A. and McArdle, J.J., *Contemporary Psychometrics*, 2005, Psychology Press.
Still no chapter on IRT.

In sum, I cannot find any distinctive feature when one is talking about modern, or new, or contemporary psychometrics. Of course, I have a lot of books dealing with IRT models. I personally like:

- van der Linden, W.J. and Hambleton, R.K. (eds.),
*Handbook of Modern Item Response Theory*, 1997, Springer. - de Boeck, P. and Wilson, M.,
*Explanatory Item Response Models: A Generalized Linear and Nonlinear Approach*, 2001, Springer. - Boomsma, A., van Dujin, M., and Snijders, T.,
*Essays on Item Response Theory*, 2000, Springer.

although the latter is mostly a series of chapters on applications of IRT in various fields of research. I have noticed that Chapman & Hall/CRC now has an “R series” like Springer where Mair and coll. plan to discuss their Extended Rasch Modeling framework (see the related JSS paper or the UseR! 2010 slides).