Eric Loken, Ph.D. - Associate

Research Associate Professor

119-C Henderson Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802

814-865-7091 (fax-814-863-7963)

Bio Statement

My work is currently divided into two major areas – new developments in research methodology and applications of those developments. Recent advances in statistics have made sophisticated techniques available to researchers. These advanced statistical techniques can support theoretical models and also lead to valuable new empirical insights. I am working on latent variables models, both with continuous latent variables such as factor and SEM models, and mixture models which have categorical latent variables. I also work in the area of item response theory. In general I focus on the application of Bayesian methods to improve inference and inform model selection.

There are many exciting opportunities for applying statistical advances to research in education and health. I have ongoing work examining web-based assessment and interventions in education, as well as work looking at weight status and obesity.

Research interests

  • New developments in research methodology and their application
  • Application of statistical advances to research in education and health

Select Publications

Loken, E. (2010). Person-specific analyses of the dynamics of weight change. In K. Newell, & P.M. Molenaar (Eds.), Pathways of Change.

Loken, E. & Rulison, K. L. (2010). Estimation of a four-parameter item response theory model. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 63, 509-525.

Wilmer, J.B., Germine, L., Chabris, C.F., Chatterjee, G., Nakayama, K., Williams, M., Loken, E., Duchaine, B. (2010). Human face recognition is highly heritable. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 5238-5241.

Rulison, K., & Loken, E. (2009). I’ve fallen and I can’t get up: Can high ability students recover from early mistakes in CAT? Applied Psychological Measurement, 33, 83-101.

Ventura, A.K., Loken, E., Birch, L.L. (2009). Developmental trajectories of girls' body mass index across childhood and adolescence. Obesity, 17, 2067-2074.

Loken, E. (2005) Identifiability constraints and the shape of the likelihood in confirmatory factor models. Structural Equation Modeling, 12, 232-244.

Chung, H., Loken, E. & Schafer, J.L. (2004). Difficulties in drawing inferences with finite-mixture models: A simple example and a simple solution. American Statistician, 58, 152-158.

Loken, E. (2004). Using latent class analysis to model temperament types. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 39(4), 625-652.

Loken, E., Radlinski, F., Crespi, V., Cushing, L., Millet, J. (2004) Online study behavior of 100,000 students studying for the SAT, ACT and GRE. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 30, 255-262.

Li, H., & Loken, E. (2002). A unified theory of statistical analysis and inference for variance component models for dyadic data. Statistica Sinica, 12, 519-535.

Professional Experience

2001-present: Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University

1999-2001: Senior Lecturer, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University

1996-1998: Instructor, Harvard University

1998: Teaching Fellow, Harvard Business School

1998: Summer Intern, Educational Testing Service, New Jersey

1996-1997: Instructor, Center for Talented Youth, Johns Hopkins University

1995-1996: Teaching Fellow, Harvard University


Ph.D., 2001, Developmental Psychology, Harvard University
A.M., 1997, Statistics, Harvard University
M.A., 1994, Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan
B.A., 1992, Philosophy (minor in Mathematics), McGill University