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I am looking for a nice concise statistics book that summarizes how to do the experimental designs properly, and maybe some algorithms people in the field have discovered. What are the best books for this?

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To be sure to understand your question, you are interested in textbooks about the measurement of psychological traits, say, in designed experiments (e.g., controlled tasks in a laboratory)? – chl Feb 29 '12 at 9:16
Yes. I want to ask people to rate and measure which emotions are present in a written piece. – zaxtax Feb 29 '12 at 19:11
I don't consider myself an expert on psychometrics, and I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but you might want to take a look at this website: – gung Mar 1 '12 at 5:26
This is a mismatched question, akin to "What color of a car should I buy to avoid traffic?" If you look up an authoritative source like Handbook of Statistics: Psychometrics (…), it won't even mention experiment design. You might want to edit the subject. – StasK Mar 1 '12 at 12:06
I think it makes a lot of sense to read about psychometrics when developing a questionnaire you plan to use in an experiment but you will find that the two literature are almost entirely separate. People who do experiments often use single items they make up on the spot and don't try to assess their psychometric qualities. People who develop questionnaires are interested in evaluating where a person fits in the whole population on some trait and typically do not run experiments. See also Cronbach's The Two Disciplines of Scientific Psychology – Gala Mar 2 '12 at 9:19

A standard reference on psychometrics is Nunnally, J.C. & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric Theory. New York: McGraw Hill. That's the third edition, the two previous ones had only Jum Nunnally as author (and some people apparently prefer them to the last one). It does contain some math but is not very technical, as far as psychometrics go.

You won't find much on the design of experiments it it, though. This is not really a topic I would put under the heading “psychometrics”.

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I agree with Gael. People who design experiments, and people who validate scales are usually two different groups of people. If you are coming from a psychology background, and the only thing you've seen that dealt with numbers was in psychometric courses, you are up for some big surprises in discovering other areas of statistics if you are looking around with sufficient curiosity. – StasK Mar 1 '12 at 11:54
I am largely trying to read broadly to get my bearings. – zaxtax Mar 2 '12 at 1:08

A good resource that discusses the construction of psychological assessment instruments both from a psychometric perspective and from and experimental rationales is Explanatory Item Response Models (De Boeck & Wilson, 2004). The first two chapters should give a good introduction.

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