Melissa Gordon Wolf one of the speakers at Learn & Lunch on November 8

Friday, November 8, 2019
Lunch & LEarn flyer for November 8, 2019

UC Santa Barbara’s Graduate Division, the Graduate Student Association, and the Library will co-sponsor Lunch & Learn featuring Melissa Gordon Wolf, a graduate student at the Gevirtz School, on Friday, November 8 in Library Room 1312, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. Gordon Wolf will present “Making Sense of Nonsensical Survey Items.” Have you ever taken a survey and not understood what an item meant? Misfit between the way researchers intend for items to be interpreted and the way participants actually interpret items is an underacknowledged threat to the validity of survey results. Given that survey results are commonly used as outcome measures in scientific studies, it is critical to reduce this misfit. In this talk, Melissa will present a new method called Response Process Evaluation to improve the validity of our surveys. 

The other talk at the event, “Improving Electricity Generation from Microbial Communities,” will be presented by Chemical Engineering graduate student Samantha McCuskey. The event is free and open to the public and includes lunch; those wishing to attend should RSVP online.

Melissa Gordon Wolf is a doctoral student in the Department of Education focusing on quantitative research methods under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Maul. Her primary focus is on the measurement of ontologically subjective attributes and the validity of the scales designed to assess them. Methodologically, she is interested in latent variable and psychometric analyses (SEM, mixtures, IRT), atypical approaches to measurement (such as network analysis), and research design. She is currently working on projects related to invalid and deceptive responses on surveys, the nature of constructs (kinds vs continua), cut scores, and evidence for validity based on the response process.

Lunch & Learn is a monthly informal seminar series that provides grad students with two important things: free lunch and a chance to socialize with and learn from their peers from across the campus. This event will be moderated by Shawn Warner-Garcia, the Director of Professional Development for the UCSB Graduate Division.

[Melissa Gordon-Wolf is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]