Quantitative Methodology and Evaluation Science (QMES)

The Quantitative Methods & Evaluation Science initiative is a community of scholars aimed at promoting the use and development of quantitative, computational, and evaluative methods in both basic and applied areas of the psychological sciences. We take a problem-centered approach using and developing quantitative methods to investigate questions in the psychological sciences. A particular focus of the group is on questions that cross multiple levels of analysis in the psychological sciences.

Goals of QMES

  • Foster research that uses and develops quantitative, computational, evaluative methodology and tools to address important questions (basic and applied) in the psychological sciences.
  • A goal unique to our group is a focus on questions that cut across different levels of analysis.
  • Develop students’ expertise and skills in statistical, mathematical, and evaluative methods.
  • Promote a breadth of knowledge that cuts across levels of analysis in psychology.

Foci of QMES

The QMES group has 2 foci to achieve these goals: a research focus and an education focus. The foci are symbiotic. Education occurs both in a classroom and during hands on collaborative research. At the same time, by teaching scholars cutting edge techniques in quantitative, computational, and evaluative methods, we are pushed to ask questions at the leading edge of the psychological sciences.

Research Focus

Quantitative, computational, and evaluative methods are an essential tool for addressing questions in the psychological sciences. They promote rigorous theory development, data analysis, prediction and generalization. This approach also facilitates the development of theory that crosses multiple levels of analysis in the psychological sciences. These levels include genetic, neural, cognitive, social, and organizational -- all strengths of our department. This approach also cuts across basic and applied questions -- another strength of our department. Our group takes a problem-centered approach using and developing quantitative methods to investigate questions in the psychological sciences. To investigate these questions we draw on areas in measurement, statistics, mathematical modeling, psychometrics, methodology, neuroimaging, network analysis, and program evaluation.

Teaching Focus

Computational, statistical, and methodological expertise is an important skill set for students to develop in the psychological sciences. Such training is invaluable in the development of rigorous psychological theory. These skills are also valuable as a consultant where expertise is needed in academic and applied settings in the issues of design, data analysis, data interpretation, and presentation and dissemination of results. We aim to train students with a unique profile that will make them competitive for employment in both academic and non-academic settings. To these ends the Department of Psychology offers advanced graduate training through a Concentration in Quantitative Methodology and Evaluation Science (QMES).