David Kaplan

Patricia Busk Professor of Quantitative Methods

David Kaplan is the Patricia Busk Professor of Quantitative Methods in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Dr. Kaplan holds affiliate appointments in the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Population Health Sciences and the Center for Demography and Ecology, and is also an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford.  Dr. Kaplan’s program of research focuses on the development Bayesian statistical methods for education research. His work on these topics is directed toward applications to quasi-experimental and large-scale cross-sectional and longitudinal survey designs. He is actively involved in the OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) where he served on its Technical Advisory Group from 2005-2009 and its Questionnaire Expert Group from 2004-present where he served as the Chair of the Questionnaire Expert Group for PISA 2015 and remains a member of the Questionnaire Expert Group for PISA 2018.  Dr. Kaplan also sits on the Questionnaire Expert Group for the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) as well as the Design and Analysis Committee and the Questionnaire Standing Committee for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).  Dr. Kaplan is an elected member of the National Academy of Education, a recipient of the Humboldt Research Award, a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 5), and was a Jeanne Griffith Fellow at the National Center for Education Statistics.  Dr. Kaplan received his Ph.D. in education from UCLA in 1987.


My current program of research focuses on the development of Bayesian methods applied to a wide range of education research settings. My specific interests include: Bayesian model averaging; objective versus subjective Bayesian modeling; Bayesian posterior predictive causal inference; and Bayesian approaches to problems in large-scale survey methodology. My collaborative research involves applications of advanced quantitative methodologies to substantive and methodological problems in international comparative education. I am most actively involved in the OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) where I served on its Technical Advisory Group and currently serve as Chair of its Questionnaire Expert Group. I also sit on the NAEP Questionnaire Standing Committee.


Kaplan, D. & Su, D. (2016). On matrix sampling and imputation of context questionnaires withi implications for the generation of plausible values in large-scale assessments. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics. doi: 10.3102/1076998615622221

Kaplan, D. & Lee, C. (2015). Bayesian model averaging over directed acyclic graphs with implications for the predictive performance of structural equation models. Structural Equation Modeling.doi:10.1080/10705511.2015.1092088

Park, S. & Kaplan, D. (2015) Bayesian causal mediation analysis for group randomized designs with homogenous and heterogenous treatment eects: Simulation and Case Study. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 50, 316-333.

Chen, J. & Kaplan, D. (2015). Covariate Balance in a Two-Step Bayesian Propensity Score Approach for Observational Studies. Journal of Research on Education Eectiveness, 8, 280-302.

Kaplan, D. & Chen, J. (2014). Bayesian model averaging for propensity score analysis. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 49, 505-517.

Kaplan, D. (2014). Bayesian Statistics for the Social Sciences. New York: Guilford Press.

van de Schoot, R., Kaplan, D., Denissen, J., Asndorpf, J. B., Neyer, F. J. & van Aken, M. A. G.(2013). A Gentle Introduction to Bayesian Analysis: Applications to Developmental Research. Child Development. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12169

Kaplan, D. & McCarty, A. T. (2013). Data fusion with international large scale assessments: A case study using the OECD PISA and TALIS surveys. Large-scale Assessments in Education, 1:6, doi:10.1186/2196-0739-1-6.




Contact Information

Phone: (608) 262-0836
Office: 1082-B Ed Sciences

Completed Projects

An Integrated Qualitative and Quantitative Evaluation of the SAGE Program