Flaherty Lab

Applied Psychometrics and Models in Behavioral Research

(APMBR isn’t a good acronym, so I’ve reverted to Flaherty lab)

Here’s a great quote that characterizes our research:

“Understanding what you’re doing and being certain of the underlying justification for whatever conclusions you reach, no matter how trivial, is the whole story.” (Sentilles, Bridge to Advanced Mathematics)

In our lab, we focus on developing new models and approaches to answer behavioral research questions, as well as examining how existing approaches perform in varied behavioral research situations. Our research includes applied data problems, comparing latent variable operationalization, studying estimation approaches, literate programming (R and FORTRAN currently, slowly learning python), and simulation studies. Some examples of research topics we are currently examining include:

  • How does the choice of latent variable operationalization affect the results and scientific conclusions? Currently examining this in substance use data, implicit memory, stigma, and simulation research.
  • reliability assessment in latent class and mixture models
  • exploratory data analysis
  • analysis of data from discrete choice experiments, as well as application of this design

There are many opportunities for interested graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in this lab!

People currently affiliated:

  • Michilina MontaƱo, Ph.D. post-doctoral scholar examining latent variable operationalization of stigma among men who have sex with men and their STD/HIV risk
  • Megan Ramaiya, graduate student (Psychology) working on understanding interpersonal emotion regulation and suicidal behavior
  • Trevor Peckham, graduate student (Environmental and Occupational Health) examining latent classes of employment quality in US data and how class membership is associated with health outcomes.

People who have moved on:

  • Yusuke Shono, Ph.D. Research Scientist at Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah
  • Sarah T. Roberts, Ph.D., Research Public Health Analyst, RTI International
  • Ramona Beltran, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Denver

I have also worked with numerous undergraduate students on lab research, as well as many graduate students across departments on their own research.