Michael Edwards

Professor and Area Head, Quantitative Psychology
TEMPE Campus


Michael Edwards is a professor in the quantitative area of the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University. Prior to joining the faculty at ASU in 2017, he was an assistant (2006-2011) and associate (2011-2016) professor in the quantitative area of the Department of Psychology at The Ohio State University.

His research focuses on diagnostic procedures, patient outcomes and quantitative psychology.


  • Ph.D. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 2005. Advisor: Dr. David Thissen in the Department of Psychology (now Department of Psychology and Neuroscience).
  • M.A. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 2002. Advisor: Dr. Jack Vevea  in the Department of Psychology (now Department of Psychology and Neuroscience)
  • B.S. Psychology, with a second major in English, Ursinus College 2000. Advisors: Dr. Ken Richardson and Dr. Margot Kelley in Psychology and English, respectively. 

Google Scholar

Research Interests

I am interested in measurement issues in the social sciences. Much of my work has been in the realms of item response theory (IRT) and factor analysis. Topics I'm currently working on include: multidimensional IRT (a.k.a. item factor analysis) models, minimum detectable change, multi-stage adaptive testing, measurement models for multiple reporters, local dependence diagnostics, and model fit (and misfit). In addition, I have developed software to allow researchers to estimate item factor analysis models using MCMC.

I am also very interested in the growing application of psychometrics in the realm of patient reported outcomes (PROs).


Selected Publications

Edwards, M.C., Slagle, A., Rubright, J.D., & Wirth, R.J. (2018). Fit for purpose and modern validity theory in clinical outcomes assessment. Quality of Life Research, 27, 1711-1720.

Edwards, M.C., Houts, C.R., & Cai, L. (2018). A diagnostic procedure to detect departures from local independence in item response models. Psychological Methods, 23, 138-149.

Houts, C.R., Wirth, R.J., Edwards, M.C., & Deal, L. (2016). A review of empirical research related to the use of small quantitative samples in clinical outcome scale development.  Quality of Life Research, 25, 2685-2691.

Stanley, L.M., & Edwards, M.C. (2016). Reliability and model fit. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 76, 976-985.

Houts, C.R., & Edwards, M.C. (2015). Comparing surface and underlying local dependence levels via polychoric correlations. Applied Psychological Measurement, 39(4), 293-302.

Edwards, M.C. (2013). Purple unicorns, true models, and other things I’ve never seen. Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, 11, 107-111.

Edwards, M.C., Flora, D.B., Thissen, D. (2012). Multi-stage computerized adaptive testing with uniform item exposure. Applied Measurement in Education, 25, 118-141.

Edwards, M.C. (2010). A Markov chain Monte Carlo approach to confirmatory item factor analysis. Psychometrika, 75, 474-497.

Edwards, M.C. (2009). An introduction to item response theory using the Need for Cognition Scale. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 3, 507-529.

Edwards, M.C., & Wirth, R.J. (2009). Measurement and the study of change. Research in Human Development, 6, 74-96.

Flora, D.B., Curran, P.J., Hussong, A.M., & Edwards, M.C. (2008). Incorporating measurement nonequivalence in a cross-study latent growth curve analysis. Structural Equation Modeling, 15, 676-704.

Wirth, R.J., & Edwards, M.C. (2007). Item factor analysis: Current approaches and future directions. Psychological Methods, 12, 58-79.

Edwards, M.C., & Vevea, J.L. (2006). An empirical Bayes approach to subscore augmentation: How much strength can we borrow? Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 31, 241-259.



Spring 2021
Course Number Course Title
PSY 531 Multiple Regression/Psych Res
PSY 599 Thesis
PSY 792 Research
PSY 799 Dissertation
Fall 2020
Course Number Course Title
PSY 592 Research
PSY 599 Thesis
PSY 799 Dissertation
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
PSY 534 Psychometric Methods
PSY 591 Seminar
GCU 593 Applied Project
PSY 792 Research
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
PSY 592 Research
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
PSY 534 Psychometric Methods
PSY 554 Item Response Theory
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
PSY 534 Psychometric Methods
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
PSY 532 Analysis of Multivariate Data