This volume is based on an international conference held at the Institute for Science Education (IPN) in Kiel in August 1985. The IPN is a national research institute for science education of the Federal Republic of Germany associated with the University of Kiel. The aim of this conference-to treat latent trait and latent class models under comparative points of view as well as under application aspects-was realized in many stimulating contributions and very different ways. We asked the authors of these papers to work out their contributions for publication here, t only because many of the papers present new material, but also because the time is ripe for a comprehen- sive volume, working up the widespread literature of the past ten years in this field. We have tried to compile a volume that will be of interest to statistically oriented researchers in a variety of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, education, political science, epidemiology, and the like. Although the chapters assume a reasonably high level of methodo- logical sophistication, we hope that the book will find its way into advanced courses in the above fields. We are grateful to the IPN for organizing the conference, to our contributors for their untiring efforts in revising their chapters for publication, and to the staff of Plenum Publishing Corporation for helping to make this book a reality.