Colloquium with Dr. Jessica Flake, McGill University

Thursday April 13, 2023
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM


Dr. Jessica Kay Flake, Assistant Professor, Psychology, McGill University


Integrating rigorous measurement into methodological reform.


Psychology’s ‘replication crisis’ has prompted a methodological reform movement. How we do our research is changing: open science, big team science, and concerns over questionable research practices are here to stay. We’ve seen progress toward transparency and rigor, but these reforms largely preclude measurement practices. I’ll discuss how measurement plays a fundamental role, particularly psychometric measurement equivalence, in the quality and replicability of psychological science. I will review my research on psychometric models, measurement practices in original and replication research, and my work with big team science initiatives. I will discuss next steps for methodological development, particularly the need to develop practices for assessing measurement equivalence in large and complex data structures.


Dr. Jessica Kay Flake received a BS in Psychology from Northern Kentucky University in 2010, an MA in Quantitative Psychology from James Madison University in 2012, and a PhD in Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment from the University of Connecticut in 2015. From 2015 to 2018 she worked as a postdoctoral researcher in quantitative psychology at York University and educational psychology at the University of Virginia. In 2018 she started her lab in the Quantitative Psychology area of the Department of Psychology at McGill University. JK Flake is also the Assistant Director for Methods at the Psychological Science Accelerator, and a member of the Technical Advisory Panel of the Enrollment Management Association. Her research interests include the development and application of latent variable models for use in educational and social psychological research and the improvement of measurement practices in psychology more broadly.

Research Areas:

Quantitative Psychology & Modelling

Social & Personality

Research Summary:

Are we measuring what we think we are measuring? This is a foundational question for psychological scientists because we often study phenomena that are difficult to observe and measure. I am pursuing two complimentary research trajectories, both aimed at improving measurement practices in psychology. In my quantitative research trajectory, I develop structural equation and multilevel models for measurement, particularly understanding the ramifications of a lack of measurement invariance. In my more applied research trajectory I develop practices, measures, and models for educational and social psychology. A theme in my work is bridging the gap between the quantitative methods and substantive research communities.

Annually the Department of Psychology hosts a Colloquia Series throughout the academic year. This exciting program brings us together outside of the classroom to have conversations with the speakers we’ve invited to our campus to share their ideas. You’ll have the chance to hear from international speakers on a wide range of provocative topics.