Psychometrics, Econometrics, and Biometrics

NORC develops and applies field-specific measurements that add depth and nuance to our research.

Representative Projects

Biodemography of Exceptional Longevity in the United States. This project proposes to investigate why some people manage to survive to extreme old age (100+ years) and what are the biological and social correlates of exceptional longevity. These are important issues not only for demographic forecasts of human mortality and population aging, and the policy implications on health-care and pension expenditures, but also for improving our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of human aging and longevity. The project proposes to explore the effects of early-life living conditions, adult physical characteristics, marriage, and reproductive history on exceptional longevity, and will test a number of related biomedical and social hypotheses.  The project is designed as an interdisciplinary study of exceptional human longevity. To contribute to the research infrastructure for subsequent longevity studies world-wide, a database with integrated, matched information on longevity predictor variables will be developed, and made available to the research community on the Internet. More

Enhancing the Rigor of Evidence on Gendered Differences in STEM Persistence. This National Science Foundation-funded study is designed to explore how the background characteristics and subjective experiences of computer science students at two Research I institutions in the Midwest interact to determine their interest and persistence in pursuing a career in these fields. Given observed patterns of female attrition away from STEM careers, particularly those in the “hard” sciences, NORC is interested in exploring factors that may differentially impact women who have declared interest in pursuing a computer science major. In particular, the study seeks to identify modifiable factors that distinguish between women who persist from those that do not, factors that may serve as targets in designing interventions that sustain young women’s interest in science and technology careers. More

HighScope Perry Preschool Study. Sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the HighScope Perry Preschool Study (HPPS) is designed to teach us about the lasting effects of early childhood interventions, such as preschool programs.  The original Perry Preschool Program targeted a disadvantaged African American population in the 1960s. Evaluated initially by a clinical trial of preschool age children, participants were then followed periodically through age 40. Results from this longitudinal survey show strong evidence for the benefits of children in the treatment group in the areas of improved school readiness, higher female graduation rates, higher employment rates and earnings, reduced involvement in crime, and high economic return on investment. More

National Children's Study (NCS) Vanguard Study. In response to the Children’s Health Act of 2000, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) commissioned the National Children’s Study (NCS) Vanguard Study to prepare for a large-scale, national study of the effects of the environment on the growth, development, and health of children across the United States.​ More

National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP). The National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP) is a population-based study of health and social factors on a national scale, aiming to understand the well-being of older, community-dwelling Americans. More

See all Psychometrics, Econometrics, and Biometrics projects