New Book on Configural Frequency Analysis


September 26, 2014: Mark Stemmler, professor of psychological assessment at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, has written a new book, Person centered methods: Configural frequency analysis (CFA) and other methods for the analysis of contingency tables. Mark is a long-time friend of The Methodology Center, and last month, he visited … Continue reading

Featured Article: LCA Examining Differential Benefits of Head Start


September 25, 2014: Head Start is the largest federally funded preschool program for disadvantaged children. Some people have questioned its worth because research has shown relatively small impacts on cognitive and social skills. In a forthcoming article in Child Development, Methodology Center Affiliate Brittany Rhoades Cooper and Methodology Center Scientific … Continue reading

Join Our Special Interest Groups


August 27, 2014: Each year, we hold regular meetings of special interest groups open to all researchers and graduate students working with and developing cutting edge research methods. The groups provide a forum for individuals to discuss their own research and to learn from others. Topics include analyzing complex data, … Continue reading

Susan Murphy Named Distinguished University Professor

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August 19, 2014: We are pleased to announce that the University of Michigan has named Susan A. Murphy distinguished university professor for her research, leadership, and service. Susan is a Methodology Center principal investigator, Herbert E. Robbins Distinguished University Professor of statistics, research professor at the Institute for Social Research, … Continue reading

One-Credit Course on Data Privacy Methods


August 1, 2014: Every year, The Methodology Center offers three, one-credit courses in research methodology for Penn State graduate students. We have a late addition to this year’s schedule. Aleksandra Slavkovic, associate professor of statistics, will teach STAT 597B, “Data Privacy Methods for the Social and Behavioral Sciences.” This course … Continue reading

Linda Collins’ TEDx Talk on Behavioral Interventions

July 23, 2014: Behaviors such as smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, and risky sex lead to illnesses that cost millions of lives and billions of dollars worldwide every year. Interventions designed to reduce these behaviors have tremendous potential to reduce morbidity and mortality and improve public health, but currently they … Continue reading

Podcast: Physical Activity Research with David Conroy


June 2, 2014: In our latest podcast, host Aaron Wagner interviews David Conroy, professor of kinesiology and human development and family studies at Penn State, and investigator at The Methodology Center. The discussion focuses on David’s research on physical activity and sedentary behavior, how physical activity impacts our lives, and … Continue reading

Honors from Societies for Prevention Research and Behavioral Medicine


April 23, 2014: Several Methodology Center principal investigators are being recognized this spring.  At the 2014 Society for Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Annual Meeting, Methodology Center Director Linda Collins was named a Fellow of SBM for her contributions to behavioral medicine. The Society for Prevention Research (SPR) has awarded Donna Coffman … Continue reading

Using Dynamical Systems Models to Understand and Treat Behavior


April 17, 2014: Dynamical systems models were developed in engineering to describe complex systems using differential equations. Methodology Center Director Linda Collins and Daniel Rivera, professor of chemical engineering at Arizona State University, recently completed a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Roadmap grant (R21 DA024266) in which they applied … Continue reading

Software: New Version of LCA Stata Plugin


April 2, 2014: The Methodology Center is pleased to release the latest version (1.1) of the LCA Stata plugin for conducting latent class analysis (LCA). The software is available for download free of charge. For an overview of the functionality of the LCA Stata plugin, please visit the download page. … Continue reading

Software Survey Results

March 3, 2014: Thanks to all those who participated in our survey on software development! The results were very helpful to us. Here are a few highlights of what we learned. SAS is the platform most respondents are using. This is not entirely surprising, considering we already develop in SAS. … Continue reading

2014 Summer Institute on Adaptive Interventions


February 19, 2014: We are pleased to announce that Drs. Daniel Almirall and Inbal “Billie” Nahum-Shani, Methodology Center researchers at the University of Michigan, will be teaching this year’s Summer Institute on Innovative Methods, “Experimental Design and Analysis Methods for Developing Adaptive Interventions: Getting SMART.” Sponsored by Penn State’s Methodology Center … Continue reading

Software Update: PROC LCA for SAS

January 24, 2014: We have released PROC LCA v. 1.3.1 to fix a bug related to the seed_draws statement in v. 1.3.0 that sometimes causes an error. If you used seed_draws and did not receive an error message, then the output generated is reliable. There is no change in functionality between … Continue reading

New Software: R Package for Building Adaptive Interventions

January 22, 2014: We are pleased to announce the release of the qlaci (Q-learning with adaptive confidence intervals) R package. This is a tool for designing an adaptive intervention using data from a sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trial (SMART). Interventions that adapt at the right times can improve participant outcomes (e.g., … Continue reading