1. Introduction

Research and mission

The major objective of the programme is the analysis of individual and group differences, or subject-based variation in multivariate data. The classical statistical approach to multivariate analysis assumes that the individual units in the analysis (persons, children, patients) belong to a homogeneous population and form a random sample from this population. In the behavioral sciences, however, observations are usually not independent, but are obtained from heterogeneous, often unidentified, populations. This situation calls for a data theoretical approach to develop methods that do not rely on multivariate normality and homogeneous samples. Because observations arise from subgroups, individual and group differences are central, which calls for the study of interaction. This focus is of the utmost importance in the behavioral sciences such as the educational sciences and psychology, but the same emphasis can be found in a whole range of other disciplines such as medicine, biology, and life sciences.

Program leader

Prof. dr. J.J. Meulman

Starting date of the program

The programme started in the Educational Sciences in 1997. See Section 4.2.2 for its history.

External affiliations

The programme is an integral part of the Interuniversity Graduate School for Psychometrics and Sociometrics (IOPS) and members also participate in the Interuniversity School for Education and Development (ISED). The programme has formal links with the Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA through an adjunct professorship of Prof. Meulman. Joint research projects are run with the Department of Marketing, Rutgers University, Newark, USA the Department of Statistics, Stanford University, Stanford CA, Department of Agriculture, University of Queensland, Australia, the Department of Psychology and Human Development Sciences of the Nagoya University, Japan, and the Faculty of Economics of the University of Cassino, Italy. Together with the Department of Psychology, the programme has a contract with SPSS Inc., Chicago to sell its software in the module CATEGORIES of the SPSS program suite.

Page last modified on Thursday, September 28, 2006.