Daniel Bolt

Position title: Professor

Email: dmbolt@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-4938

1082A Educational Sciences
1025 West Johnson St.
Madison, WI 53706-1706

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Biography

Dr. Bolt is the Nancy C. Hoefs-Bascom Professor of Educational Psychology and chair of the Quantitative Methods area.  In addition to his own research, he collaborates on various projects, especially as 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.

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 the modeling of student growth. Recent interests include multidimensional item response theory (MIRT) applications to novel item formats such as in computer-based assessments.


  • Bolt, D.M., Kim, N., Wollack, J. A., Pan, Y., Eckerly, C., & Sowles, J. (2019). A psychometric model for discrete-option multiple-choice items.  Applied Psychological Measurement.
  • Bolt, D.M., Lee, S., Wollack, J. A., Eckerly, C., & Sowles, J. (2018). Application of asymmetric IRT modeling to discrete-option multiple-choice test items. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2175. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02175
  • Bolt, D.M. (2019, in press). Bifactor MIRT as an Appealing and Related Alternative to CDMs in the Presence of Skill Attribute Continuity. In M. von Davier and Y-S. Lee (Eds.). Handbook of Diagnostic Classification Models.
  • Adams, D.J., Bolt, D.M., Deng, S., Smith, S.S., & Baker, T.B. (in press, 2019). Using multidimensional IRT to evaluate how response styles impact measurement.   British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology.
  • Bolt, D.M. & Kim, J-S. (2018). Parameter invariance and skill attribute continuity in the DINA model.  Journal of Educational Measurement, 55, 264-280.
  • Deng, S., McCarthy,D.E., Piper, M.E., Baker, T.B. & Bolt, D.M. (2018). Extreme response style and the measurement of intra-individual variability in affect. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 53, 199-218.
  • Lee, S. & Bolt, D.M. (2018) An alternative to the lower asymptote parameter: Using asymmetric ICCs to address guessing effects in multiple-choice items. Journal of Educational Measurement, 55, 90-111.
  • Lee, S. & Bolt, D.M. (2018). Asymmetric item characteristic curves and item complexity: Insights from simulation and real data analyses. Psychometrika,83, 453-475.
  • Bolt, D.M., Dowling, N.M., Shih,Y-S., & Loh, W-Y. (2017). Using Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition to explore differential item functioning: Application to PISA 2009 Reading. In Jiao, H. & Lissitz, R. W.(Eds.). Test fairness in the new generation of large-scale assessment. Information Age Publisher.
  • Bolt, D.M., & Adams, D.J. (2017). Exploring rubric-related multidimensionality in polytomously-scored test items. Applied Psychological Measurement, 41, 163-177.
  • Le, T., Bolt, D.M., Camburn, E., Goff, P., & Rohe, K. (2017). Latent factors in student-teacher interaction factor analysis. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 42, 115-144.
  • Lee, S., & Bolt, D.M. (2017). 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.
  • Deng, S., & Bolt, D.M. (2016). A sequential IRT model for multiple-choice items and a multidimensional extension. Applied Psychological Measurement, 40, 243-257. 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, 28, 1576-1585. Online Publication/Abstract
  • Bolt, D. M., Kim, J.-S., Blanton, M., & Knuth, E. (2016). Applications of item response theory in mathematics education research. In A. Izsák, J. T. Remillard, & J. Templin (Eds.), Psychometric methods in mathematics education: Opportunities, challenges, and interdisciplinary collaborations (pp. 31–52). Journal for Research in Mathematics Education Monograph Series No. 15. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Current Grants and Sponsorships:

  • BREATHE2: Optimized Chronic Care for Smokers: Developing and Implementing Integrated Clinical and Systems Interventions in Primary Care. Grant Institution: NIH; Daniel M. Bolt co-PI Data Analysis; Fiore, Principal.
  • Wisconsin Center On Mental Retardation: Core Support,” Grant Institution: NIH/NICHD, Daniel M. Bolt, Other; Zhang, Principal.

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


PhD, Psychology, Quantitative Methods
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

MS, Statistics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

BA, Psychology/Mathematics
Calvin College