Society for Cognitive Science and Philosophy cordially invites you to the talk of Peter Edelsbrunner (ETH Zurich) in Brno. Peter will present the topic of General Factor Modeling in Psychology: Indeterminacy problems and Alternative Routes

The talk will take place on September 23rd, 2016 at 11:00 in B2.41

Attendance is free, event is sponsored by the Faculty of Arts,  Masaryk University.


General factor modelling has influenced how we look at psychological phenomena for more than 110 years. It nowadays shapes how we think about phenomena in research on Intelligence, Personality, Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, Positive and Health Psychology, and beyond. Recently, this technique has also been adopted in research on Scientific Reasoning. I present a literature review and simulation study that exemplify how general factor modelling might have influenced theory development in this field. Based on this current example, I argue that this technique suffers from statistical and theoretical indeterminacy problems that can lead researchers to questionable conclusions regarding the structure, development, and predictive value of psychological constructs. Models representing different structural theories are often mathematically equivalent, and it is difficult to determine how parameters restrict our empirical predictions. A solution of this problem can probably not be found in statistical measurement models. I suggest moving beyond measurement modelling of individual constructs and instead try to explain dynamics and interrelations of psychological phenomena with each other.