Li Cai, Ph.D.



Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology


Li Cai, Ph.D.

University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Cai’s research focuses on the development, estimation, integration and evaluation of innovative latent variable models. He has developed an expansive framework for specifying and estimating nonlinear latent structure models with a comprehensive measurement model, allowing for a mix of scale types as well as missing data. He has developed effective and efficient new estimation methods for latent variable models and general item response theory (IRT) models. With regard to model evaluation, he has developed new methods for assessing fit of covariance structure models under missing data and for assessing fit of IRT models. He has been a key contributor in the development of new, state-of-the art IRT software in the form of IRTPRO and flexMIRT.

Dr. Cai has published extensively in outlets including Multivariate Behavioral Research,Psychological Methods,Psychometrika, the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology and Child Development.He has contributed 11 book chapters on quantitative topics.

During his graduate training, Dr. Cai received the Harold Gulliksen Psychometric Research Fellowship from the Educational Testing Service as well as several outstanding dissertation awards. He received the American Psychological Association’s Anne Anastasi Early Career Award in 2011 and the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology’s Raymond B. Cattell Award in 2013 for distinguished early career contributions in multivariate methodology.

Dr. Cai is a professor of quantitative methodology in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences and Department of Psychology,both at UCLA.He earned his doctorate in quantitative psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008.