Daniel Bolt

Medical imaging Carillon Tower Glass blowing Laptop and lecture A smiling student Sunrise over the Education Building Chairs on the Memorial Union Terrace Bascom hall staircase Graduating students in silhouette Crowd of people on Bascom Hill A student tutoring Student with diploma Dance Department performance Night view of Bascom in the winter Memorial Union Terrace in autumn Memorial Union Terrace chairs Dance department performance Bucky Badger in front of a parade float Bascom Hall in the summertime Lincoln statue Students walking in the snow University of Wisconsin - Madison Crest Lincoln statue in the snow Forward Logo Student at graduation Bicycle in the snow Rathskellar Fireplace Sailboat with Capitol Building in the background A sailboat at the Memorial Union Bascom Hill in Autumn Bucky Badger studying with a student. Students among blooming trees at UW-Madison Bucky reading a book University flag on Bascom Hill Video camera view screen Student on a frozen lake Lincoln Statue on Bascom Hill Bascom Hill in winter Students collaborating Memorial Union Terrace chairs in the snow Kohl Center logo Graduates with diplomas A hands-on project Stacked, illuminated figures View from the top of Van Hise


Main Office

Educational Psychology
School of Education
859 Education Sciences
1025 W. Johnson Street
MadisonWI  53706-1796

Tel: 608/262-3432
Fax: 608/262-0843

Email: edpsych@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form

Daniel Bolt

Profile Photo

Daniel Bolt

Educational Psychology (EdPsych)

1082A Educational Sciences  binoculars icon
1025 West Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53706-1706
Office: 608/262-4938
Fax: 608/262-0843


Curriculum Vitae

Personal Biography

Dr. Bolt joined the department in the spring of 1999, coming from the Laboratory for Educational and Psychological Measurement at the University of Illinois. In addition to his own research, he collaborates on various projects related to the development and statistical analysis of educational and psychological tests. Dr. Bolt teaches courses in test theory, factor analysis, and hierarchical linear modeling.


Ph D, Psychology, Quantitative Methods
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

MS, Statistics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

BA, Psychology/Mathematics
Calvin College



Teaching Interests

Statistical methodology

Scheduled Teaching

  • Fall 2011 - Test Construction
    Course Prefix: 315, Course Number: 771, Minimum Credit Hours: 3, Maximum Credit Hours: 3

Research Interests

My interests are in the theory and application of psychometric methods in education and psychology. I am especially interested in the application of latent variable models for purposes of test validation, assessment of individual differences (such as response styles), and modeling student growth. Most of my research is in item response theory (IRT), including its application to issues such as differential item functioning and test dimensionality assessment. I am also interested in the development of nonparametric IRT methods, which relax certain modeling assumptions and have the potential to increase the flexibility and efficiency of IRT in many testing applications.

Grants and Sponsorships

  • 8/31/2014 - "Engineering Effective Interventions For Tobacco Use," Awarded By: NIH, Daniel M. Bolt, Co-Principal; Michael C. Fiore, Principal; Timothy B. Baker, Principal.
  • 5/31/2014 - "Peer Support And Peer Network Interventions," Awarded By: IES, Daniel M. Bolt, Supporting; Erik W. Carter; Jennifer M. Asmus.
  • 2/28/2012 - "Value-Added Models And Accountability: Next Steps," Awarded By: IES, Daniel M. Bolt, Supporting; Robert H. Meyer.
  • 6/30/2011 - "Wisconsin Center On Mental Retardation: Core Support," Grant Institution: NIH/NICHD, Daniel M. Bolt, Other; Seltzer, Principal.
    Abstract: The proposed project will provide Core Support for 76 research projects conducted by investigators pursuing research on mental retardation and developmental disabilities at the Waisman Center. The Cores include: Administration, Research Participation, Rodent Models, Cellular and Molecular Neurosciences and BRain Imaging


  • Deng, S., & Bolt, D.M. (2016). A sequential IRT model for multiple-choice items and a multidimensional extension. Applied Psychological Measurement.
    Online Publication/Abstract
  • Dowling, N.M., Bolt, D.M., & Deng, S. (2016). Distinguishing item sensitivity to between-person differences versus within-person change over time: An illustration using the ADAS-Cog. Psychological Assessment.
    Online Publication/Abstract
  • Lee, S., & Bolt, D.M. (in press). Using the asymmetry of item characteristic curves (ICCs) to learn about underlying item response processes. Quantitative Psychology Research: The 80th Annual Meeting of the Psychometric Society. New York: Springer.
  • Bolt, D.M. (2015). Item response models for computer-based testing. In F. Drasgow (Eds.), Technology & Testing. NCME Book Series.
  • Lu, Y., & Bolt, D.M. (2015). Examining the achivement-attitude paradox in PISA using a multilevel multidimensional IRT model for extreme response style. Large Scale Assessments in Education. 3(2).
  • van der Ark, L.A., Bolt, D.M., Wang, W., Douglas, J.A., & Chow, S. (2015). Quantitative Psychology Research: The 79th Annual Meeting of the Psychometric Society. Quantitative Psychology Research: The 79th Annual Meeting of the Psychometric Society. New York: Springer.
  • Bolt, D.M., Lu, Y., & Kim, J. (2014). Measurement and control of response styles using anchoring vignettes: A model-based approach. Psychological Methods.
    Online Publication/Abstract
  • Bolt, D.M., Deng, S., & Lee, S. (2014). IRT model misspecification and measurement of growth in vertical scaling. Journal of Educational Measurement. 51, 141-162.
  • Millsap, R.E., van der Ark, L.A., Bolt, D.M., & Woods, C.M. (2013). New Developments in Quantitative Psychology. New Developments in Quantitative Psychology. Springer.
  • Andrews, M., Bolt, D.M., Braun, M., & Benedict, R. (2013). Measuring Exertion during Caregiving of Children and Young Adults with Cerebral Palsy Who Require Assistance for Mobility and Self-care. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics.
  • Bolt, D.M., Piper, M.E., Theobald, W.E., & Baker, T.B. (2012). Why two smoking cessation agents work better than one: Role of craving suppression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 80, 54-65.
  • Bolt, D.M., Wollack, J.A., & Suh, Y. (2012). Application of a multidimensional nested logit model to multiple-choice test items. Psychometrika. 77(2), 263-287.
  • Bolt, D.M., & Newton, J.R. (2011). Multiscale measurement of extreme response style. Educational and Psychological Measurement. 71, 814-833.
  • Suh, Y., & Bolt, D.M. (2011). A nested logit approach to deteting differential distractor functioning. Journal of Educational Measurement. pp. 188-205.
  • Suh, Y., & Bolt, D.M. (2010). Nested logit models for multiple-choice item response data. Psychometrika. 75(3), 454-473.
  • Johnson, T.R., & Bolt, D.M. (2010). On the use of factor-analytic multinomial logit item response models to account for individual differences in response style. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics. 35(1).
  • Bolt, D.M., & Johnson, T.R. (2009). Addressing score bias and DIF due to individual differences in response style. Applied Psychological Measurement. 33(5), 335-352.
  • Bolt, D.M., Piper, M.E., McCarthy, D.E., Japuntich, S.J., Fiore, M.C., Smith, S.S., & Baker, T.B. (2009). The Wisconsin Predicting Patients' Relapse questionnaire. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. 11(5), 481-492.
  • Park, C., & Bolt, D.M. (2008). Application of multilevel IRT to investigate cross-national skill profiles on TIMSS 2003 [Monograph]. IERI monograph Series: Issues and methodologies in large-scale assessments 1, 71-96.
  • Kim, J., & Bolt, D.M. (2007). Estimating item response theory models using Markov Chain Monte Carlo. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. pp. 38-51.
  • Bolt, D.M., Cohen, A.S., & Wollack, J.A. (2001). A mixture item response model for multiple-choice data. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics. 26, 381-409.
  • Bolt, D.M., Kim, J., Blanton, M., & Knuth, E. Applications of item response theory in mathematics education research [Monograph]. Psychometric methods in mathematics education: Opportunities, challenges, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education monograph series


  • Bolt, D.M., & Newton, J.R. (2010). Across-Scale Measurement of Extreme Response Style, Annual Meeting, Psychometric Society, Athens, GA.
  • Bolt, D.M., & Newton, J.R. (2010). A Multidimensional Partial Credit Model Allowing Within-Item Slope Heterogeneity, Annual Meeting, National Council on Measurement in Education, Denver, CO.
  • Johnson, T., & Bolt, D.M. (2008). Using a multidimensional nominal response model to identify and control for extreme response style in survey instruments, 2008 Psychometric Society Annual Meeting, Psychometric Society, Durham, NH.
  • Bolt, D.M. Differential distractor functioning in multiple-choice items, ACT Visiting Scholar Series, ACT, Iowa City, IA.

Awards and Honors

  • Vilas Associates Award
    Organization: University of Wisconsin, Madison
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Scope: UW Madison
    Date(s): July 2014 - July 2016
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award
    Organization: AERA
    Purpose: Service, Professional
    Scope: National
    Date(s): April 2015
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award
    Organization: AERA
    Purpose: Service, Professional
    Scope: National
    Date(s): April 2013
  • UW Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award
    Date(s): April 29, 2009
  • Jason Millman Promising Scholar Award
    Organization: NCME
    Date(s): March 2003


  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME)
    Scope of Organization: International
  • Psychometric Society
    Scope of Organization: International
© 2016 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System • Please contact the School of Education External Relations Office with questions, issues or comments about this site.