Professor Anna Brown

Professor Anna Brown

  • Position: WPG Science Faculty
  • Qualifications: BSc, MSc, PhD

Personal Experience & Biography

Career in brief

Anna Brown is a psychometrician with an established reputation and extensive industry experience. She is currently Professor of Psychometrics at the School of Psychology of University of Kent. Previously, she taught short courses in Applied Psychometrics at the University of Cambridge. Her experiences outside of academia included research and test development at the Research Division of the UK largest occupational test publisher SHL Group, where she held senior and principal psychometrician positions for many years.

Anna completed a 5-year Master’s programme in Mathematics with distinction and a Ph.D. in Psychology with distinction. Her Ph.D. research led to the development of the Thurstonian Item Response Theory (TIRT) model described as a breakthrough in scoring of ‘ipsative’ (relative-to-self) questionnaires, and received the prestigious “Best Dissertation” award from the Psychometric Society. Further advances in this methodology made by Professor Brown enabled the development of novel personality assessment tools that are resistant to response biases and ‘faking good’ by candidates. Multiple world-leading test publishers and organisations, including SHL, Korn Ferry, Enrollment Management Association and many others incorporated this methodology into millions of individual psychological assessments that have taken place in at least 37 different languages, across 40 different countries since 2010.

Areas of expertise and interest

Anna’s research focuses on psychological measurement and testing, particularly issues in test validity and test fairness. She specialises in modelling response biases and faking, scaling of comparative data, measurement invariance and other measurement models using IRT and SEM frameworks more broadly. She has published widely on these and other topics, including peer-reviewed articles in top journals such as Psychological Methods, Psychological Science, Psychometrika and others; book chapters; psychometric tests and test manuals.

Professional accomplishments

Professor Brown has extensive experience in designing, developing and implementing psychometric testing solutions in the workplace, health settings and education, and provides psychometric advice to several organisations in the private and public sectors internationally. She served as an elected member on the Council of the International Test Commission (ITC) for 8 years, chairing its Research and Guidelines Committee. In this role, Anna facilitated publication and translation of ITC guidelines aiming to improve testing standards internationally. She also serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Testing and Organizational Research Methods, and as an ad-hoc reviewer for countless journals in the field of psychological testing.