Brooke Magnus, Ph.D.

Magnus headshot
Brooke Magnus, Ph.D.Marquette University

Cramer Hall, 328F

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-3509Personal Website

Assistant Professor


Dr. Magnus grew up in a small town in southeastern Massachusetts. She completed her undergraduate degree at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts, where she become interested in the intersection of psychology, statistics, and quantitative research methodology. She went on to earn her PhD in Quantitative Psychology with a minor in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in psychometrics, item response theory, and the assessment of health outcomes. In addition to conducting her own methodological work, Dr. Magnus enjoys collaborating with behavioral and health scientists who use tests and questionnaires as part of their research. She is also enthusiastic about instilling an appreciation of statistics in her students, and she encourages anyone interested in learning more about quantitative psychology to contact her.

Dr. Magnus encourages anyone with a strong statistical background who is interested in the Clinical Psychology PhD program to contact her. She is particularly eager to work with graduate students who have an interest in psychometrics and the analysis of questionnaire data.


2016    Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2013    M.A. in Quantitative Psychology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2009    B.A. in Psychology, Mount Holyoke College

Courses Taught

At the undergraduate level, Dr. Magnus teaches Psychological Measurements & Statistics. At the graduate level, Dr. Magnus teaches Advanced Statistics & Design I & II. In future semesters, she plans to teach courses in Psychological Testing and Latent Variable Modeling.

Research Interests

Dr. Magnus’ research concentrates on the development of statistical methods for the analysis of item response data from tests, surveys, and questionnaires. Such data commonly arise from psychological and educational testing and measurement, as well as the assessment of health outcomes. As part of this research, she also investigates ways in which biostatistical methodology can be used in the adaptation of measurement models to behavioral and health outcomes research. Dr. Magnus’ secondary research interests are centered on the evaluation and use of tests and questionnaires in practice, mainly through collaborative work across psychology, public health, and medicine.

Selected Publications

*Denotes graduate student co-author, +Denotes undergraduate student co-author

  • *Schiltz, H. K., Magnus, B. E., *McVey, A. J., *Haendel, A. D., Dolan, B. K., Willar, K. S., Pleiss, S., Karst, J. S., Carson, A. M., & Van Hecke, A. V. (in press). A psychometric analysis of the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents in youth with autism spectrum disorder: Caregiver-adolescent agreement, factor structure, and validity. Assessment.
  • Ranson, J., Magnus, B. E., Temkin, N., Dikmen, S., Giacino, J. T., Manley, G. T., & Nelson, L. D. (in press). Diagnosing the GOSE: Structure and psychometric properties using item response theory. Journal of Neurotrauma.
  • Magnus, B. E., *Kirkman, M., +Dutta, T., +Kaur, M., & +Mannchen, N. (2019). To bin or not to bin? A comparison of symptom frequency response formats in the assessment of health-related quality of life. Quality of Life Research, 28(3), 841-853.
  • Magnus, B. E., & Liu, Y. (2018). A zero-inflated Box-Cox normal unipolar item response model for measuring constructs of psychopathology. Applied Psychological Measurement, 42(7), 571-589.
  • Magnus, B. E., Willoughby, M. T., Blair, C. B., & Kuhn, L. J. (in press). Integrating item accuracy and reaction time to improve the measurement of inhibitory control abilities in early childhood. Assessment.
  • Liu, Y., Magnus, B. E., O'Connor, H., & Thissen, D. (2018). Multidimensional item response theory. In P. Irwing, T. Booth, & D. Hughes (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of psychometric testing (pp. 445-493). Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Willoughby, M. T., Blair, C. B., Kuhn, L. J., & Magnus, B. E. (2018). The benefits of adding a brief measure of simple reaction time to the assessment of executive function in early childhood. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 170,30-44.
  • *Schiltz, H. K., *McVey, A. J., Magnus, B. E., Dolan, B. K., Willar, K. S., Pleiss, S., Karst, J., Carson, A. M., Caiozzo, C., *Vogt, E., & Van Hecke, A. V. (2018). Examining the links between challenging behaviors in youth with ASD and parent stress, mental health, and involvement: Applying an adaptation of the Family Stress Model to families of youth with ASD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48(4), 1169-1180.
  • Magnus, B. E., & Thissen, D. (2017). Item response modeling of multivariate count data with zero inflation, maximum inflation, and heaping. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 42(5), 531-558.
  • Willoughby, M. T., Magnus, B. E., Vernon-Feagans, L., Blair, C. B., & The Family Life Project Investigators (2017). Developmental delays in executive function from 3-5 years of age predict kindergarten academic readiness. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 50(4), 359-372.
  • Gilkey, M. B., McRee, A. L., Magnus, B. E., Reiter, P. L., Dempsey, A. F., & Brewer, N. T. (2016). Vaccination confidence and parental refusal/delay of early childhood vaccines. PLoS One, 11(7).
  • Magnus, B. E., Liu, Y., He, J., Quinn, H., Thissen, D., Gross, H. E., DeWalt, D. A., & Reeve, B. B. (2016). Mode effects between computer self-administration and telephone interviewer-administration of the PROMIS pediatric measures, self and proxy report. Quality of Life Research, 25(1), 13-23.
  • Liu, Y., Magnus, B. E., & Thissen, D. (2016). Modeling and testing differential item functioning in unidimensional binary item response models with a single continuous covariate: A functional data analysis approach. Psychometrika, 81(12), 371-398. 
  • Gilkey, M. B., Reiter, P. L., Magnus, B. E., McRee, A. L., Dempsey, A. F., & Brewer, N. T. (2016). Validation of the Vaccination Confidence Scale: A brief measure to identify parents at risk for refusing adolescent vaccines. Academic Pediatrics, 16(1), 42-49. 
  • Gilkey, M. B., Magnus, B. E., Reiter, P. L., McRee, A. L., Dempsey, A. F., & Brewer, N. T. (2014). The Vaccination Confidence Scale: A brief measure of parents’ vaccination beliefs. Vaccine, 32(47), 6259-6265.
  • Varni, J. W., Magnus, B. E., Stucky, B. D., Liu, Y., Quinn, H., Thissen, D., Gross, H. E., Huang, I-C, & DeWalt, D. A. (2014). Psychometric properties of the PROMIS pediatric scales: Precision, stability, and comparison of different scoring and administration options. Quality of Life Research, 23(4), 1233-1243.

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Department of Psychology
Cramer Hall, 317
604 N. 16th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-7218

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