Sonja D. Winter

Sonja D. Winter

Postdoctoral Fellow at Missouri Prevention Science Institute

University of Missouri


I recently successfully defended my dissertation in pursuit of a PhD in Quantitative Psychology at UC Merced. My goal is to improve the fit between statistical models and analyses and the research questions that the field of psychology needs answers to. My current research focuses on detecting specification issues in structural equation models through Bayesian estimation. More broadly speaking, I am interested in models of development, structural equation modeling, and the potential benefits of thoughtful application of Bayesian estimation.

Download my CV.

  • Latent measurement models
  • Longitudinal data
  • Mixture modeling
  • Bayesian methods
  • PhD in Quantitative Psychology, 2021

    UC Merced

  • Msc in Developmental Psychology (cum laude), 2013

    Utrecht University

  • BSc in Developmental Psychology, 2011

    Utrecht University


Postdoctoral Fellow
Aug 2021 – Present Columbia, Missouri
Methodological postdoctoral fellow working under the mentorship of Dr. Wes Bonifay. Focusing on Bayesian statistics and structural equation models of all shapes and sizes.
Teaching Assistant
UC Merced
Aug 2016 – Jul 2021 Merced, California

Courses include:

  • Psychology 010: Analysis of Psychological Data
  • Psychology 010L: Analysis of Psychological Data Lab
  • Psychology 015: Research Methods in Psychology
  • Psychology 105: Advanced Research Methods in Psychology
  • Psychology 202A: Advanced Psychological Statistics I (Graduate level)
  • Psychology 202B: Advanced Psychological Statistics II (Graduate level)
Junior Researcher
Utrecht University
Jan 2014 – Jun 2016 Utrecht, the Netherlands

Department of Methodology and Statistics for the Behavioral and Social Sciences

Lab Coordinator: Rens van de Schoot, PhD

Responsibilities: Gave support at each step of the research cycle (literature re- view, data collection and management, analysis, writing final article or report);
Organized meetings, events, and conferences. Communicated with guests and
speakers; Put forth new ideas for future research.

Winter Statistics
Jan 2014 – Jun 2016 Utrecht, the Netherlands
Statistical consultancy and support with executing research and analyses. Collaborated with researchers and companies to answer their research questions with the data available; Gave introduction to Statistics workshops at conferences or within companies; Clients included: Free University Amsterdam, Elastic (USA), Lund University (Sweden), Rutgers Foundation.

Recent Publications

(2021). Illuminating Differences in The Psychological Predictors of Academic Performance for First- And Continuing-Generation Students. Journal of Educational and Psychological Research.

PDF Cite

(2020). A Tutorial on Using The Wambs Checklist to Avoid The Misuse of Bayesian Statistics. Small Sample Size Solutions: A guide for applied researchers and practitioners.


(2019). An illustration of Bayesian approximate measurement invariance with longitudinal data and a small sample size. International Journal of Behavioral Development.