The polyserial correlation coefficient

Ulf Olsson, Fritz Drasgow, Neil J. Dorans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The polyserial and point polyserial correlations are discussed as generalizations of the biserial and point biserial correlations. The relationship between the polyserial and point polyserial correlation is derived. The maximum likelihood estimator of the polyserial correlation is compared with a two-step estimator and with a computationally convenient ad hoc estimator. All three estimators perform reasonably well in a Monte Carlo simulation. Some practical applications of the polyserial correlation are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-347
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • dichotomous variables
  • latent variables
  • point polyserial correlation
  • polychotomous variables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'The polyserial correlation coefficient'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this