In the effort to advance the research and practice of applied psychology, scientists and practitioners utilize research methods and quantitative analyses. This stream of research investigates the various issues that surround the use of well-known research designs and quantitative analyses; as well as, investigating the applicability of under utilized methods. The goal of this stream of research is to provide researchers and practitioners with a diverse set of methodological and quantitative tools that, when used appropriately, will advance applied psychology.
The most common tool used in applied psychology is the survey. This stream of research applies classic and modern measurement theories to understanding the best methods for creating instruments to measure psychological constructs. The goal of this stream of research is to develop an integrated understanding of creating psychological measures to assess constructs more reliably and validly.
o Item Response Processes
Given the important role surveys play in psychological research, understanding how individuals respond to these surveys can inform the best ways to create them. This stream of research uses different Item Response Theory models to understand which response process underlies the responding to different types of constructs. In addition, this stream investigates the psychological underpinnings of the different response processes. The goal of this stream of research is to develop an integrated theory of why individuals respond to particular survey items the way they do, and develop a series of guidelines for creating different types of items to induce a particular response process.
o Judgment and Decision Making
Judgments and decisions are extremely prevalent in the workplace. From evaluating employees’ performance to making hiring decisions, this stream of research seeks to understand the decisions made in personnel psychology. Furthermore, this stream of research investigates different forms of uncertainty in judgments, and how changing the judgment process can account for this uncertainty. The goal of this stream of research is to understand the impact various sources of information have on judgments and decision making at work, as well as creating an integrated approach to improving personnel decisions.