Anna Brown is a psychometrician with an established reputation and extensive industry experience, currently conducting research and teaching psychological methods at the University of Kent. Anna’s research focuses on modelling response processes to non- cognitive assessments using Multidimensional Item Response Theory (MIRT), including analysis of preference data (e.g. forced-choice questionnaires) and research on response biases.
Anna’s Ph.D. research led to the development of the Thurstonian IRT model, which has been described as a breakthrough in scoring and designing of forced-choice questionnaires, which in the past could not be used for inter-personal comparisons due to the ipsative data they produced.
This work received the Best Dissertation Award from the Psychometric Society in 2011. Applications of this methodology include the development of a new IRT-scored version of the Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ32r). More recently, the Thurstonian scaling approach has been extended from categorical to continuous preference data to deal with “proportion-of- total” (compositional) data, and graded preferences. As of today, Anna’s work spans all existing types of preference response formats, relies on widely available software and shared syntax code, and thus provides an easy-to- apply solution to the problems of ipsative data for research and assessment practice.