spunky's introduction...

spunky

Doesn't actually exist
#1
hello everyone. so i'm not exactly sure why i've been putting off writing my intro for so long, but given recent developments (TS contributor status) i think it' would be nice to put a few things in order.

so, i am spunky. i am currently a graduate student in Psychometrics/Quantitative Psychology/Educational Measurement in the Univeristy of British Columbia, on the transition period between finishing my Master's and starting my PhD. i come from a mixed background in psychology and statistics...unfortunately for me, i did my bachelors degree in a VERY small community college in rural british columbia and, as such, 4th-year statistics courses almost never filled up and they ended up getting cancelled because i was the only one registered :( my formal training is, therefore, more in mathematics and a lot of self-taught statistics through "directed studies" and talking to faculty members who were PhDs in statistics. they always encouraged me to never give up and i owe where i am now due to their dedication and the faith they placed in me.

my research focuses mostly in the appropriate analysis of complex data sets which arise pretty often in the social sciences. i work a lot with latent-variable models (factor analysis, latent class analysis, structural equation modeling,...), item response theory (especially 2PL and 3PL models), classical test theory, robust statistics (there is so much missing data on those likert-type questionnaires... so many violations of assumptions...) but the area where i would love to become an expert on is what are now known as hierarchical linear models or multilevel models (my masters thesis is on them).

i am also very, very interested in trying to make advanced statitstical models accesible to social science researchers. in my experience, unless one works specifically in the area of research methods, the rest of social scientists are pretty much stuck with standard ANOVA models and OLS multiple regression and shy away in terror from anything statistics-related whilst ignoring that, as social theories get more and more complex, the statitstical analyses to make sense of them will also become complex and there is nothing wrong with it... it's an "embracing the enemy" kind of situation :)

a hobby of mine has always been to track the history of statistics and the figures behind it as a science. i have always been amazed as how the forefathers (and mothers) of statistics tackled problems that evaded solution for so many years... the history behind the formalisation of the Central Limit Theorem has always been my favourite. if anyone has any recommendations on books related to the history of statistics or the history of statistical methods, please do share those with me (i've read the "Lady Tasting Tea" too many times now so i think i'm ready for more... :)

i have been together with my current husband for 7 years and now we live right in the middle of downtown vancouver, so no more cancelled statistics courses for me!

(ps- that's me on my profile picture :)
 

CB

Super Moderator
#2
Congrats on the TS contributor status - also great to hear a bit about your background! Sounds like we have a lot of overlapping interests, especially about making advanced statistical methods more accessible to social scientists! :)
 

spunky

Doesn't actually exist
#3
especially about making advanced statistical methods more accessible to social scientists! :)
tell me about that... after reading denny borsboom's "the attack of the psychometricians" i decided it's time for all of us quant-oriented social sciences to get together and wage war on the ignorance and fear that sorrounds statistics in our area of knowledge!!!
 

CB

Super Moderator
#4
tell me about that... after reading denny borsboom's "the attack of the psychometricians" i decided it's time for all of us quant-oriented social sciences to get together and wage war on the ignorance and fear that sorrounds statistics in our area of knowledge!!!
Denny Borsboom is seriously brilliant =)