Methodology & Meta-science

What are psychological constructs and how best to model them?

There are two important and unresolved questions in the history of psychology and psychometrics. First, what are psychological constructs such as personality facets, emotions, intelligence, or mental disorders? Second, what are the appropriate statistical models for these constructs? In this talk, I will first introduce the most relevant theories on psychological constructs (they are natural, socially constructed, practical, or complex kinds), followed by an introduction of commonly used statistical models (reflective and formative latent variable models, and network models). I will discuss which models are appropriate given specific theories about constructs, introduce network models that have received considerable recognition in the last 5 years in some more detail, and conclude that lack of attention to theory is largely responsible for the lack of progress in some fields of psychology.