Karen Schmidt

Schmidt, Karen M.

Primary Appointment

Professor, Psychology


  • PhD, Psychology, University of Kansas

Contact Information

PO Box 400400
1023 Millmont, Rm. 125
Telephone: 924-0694

Research Disciplines


Research Interests

Measurement of cognitive performance, self-reported health, and personality within and item response theory framework.

Research Description

I am interested in examining the latent structure of complex abilities across the lifespan, understanding cognitive processes underlying test performance in younger and older adults, health-related measurements and optimal scale design and analysis, methodological investigations centering around item response theory models for understanding change and processing components in abilities, and longitudinal analyses of item level variables, properties of psychological batteries, survey questionnaires, and inventories.

UNLEASH (Undergraduate Research)

Our research involves item response theory (IRT) measurement, focusing on methodology to enhance construct validity and measurement of individual differences. Current and ongoing projects include objective measurement of a wide variety of topics, including personality and individual experiences of pain, faking good detection in personality inventory responses, self-efficacy, reasoning and spatial visualization, AIDs knowledge, and international learning experiences in varying age groups.
RAs gain experience in all aspects of the research process, including data management, and learn sophisticated statistical and measurement procedures such as multiple regression, item response theory modeling, and structural equation modeling. RAs learn how to search and summarize research articles, create internet design of surveys, extract data via the internet, and do data analysis via R Studio (including data coding, transformation, IRT analysis, and graphing), and creating reports and presentations. Reliable, independent, and creative assistance is strongly considered for co-authorship. Interested students should have completed PSYC 3005, and preferably PSYC 3006.
Contact: Prof. Schmidt

Selected Publications