ERIC Number: EJ1019171
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
An IRT Examination of the Psychometric Functioning of Negatively Worded Personality Items
Sliter, Katherine A.; Zickar, Michael J.
Educational and Psychological Measurement, v74 n2 p214-226 Apr 2014
This study compared the functioning of positively and negatively worded personality items using item response theory. In Study 1, word pairs from the Goldberg Adjective Checklist were analyzed using the Graded Response Model. Across subscales, negatively worded items produced comparatively higher difficulty and lower discrimination parameters than positively worded items and yielded almost no information. Model fit was examined for two forms of each scale: parameters freely estimated versus parameters estimated with item pairs constrained to be equal. Greater misfit was found in the latter. In Study 2, positively and negatively worded items from a more commonly formatted personality assessment were compared. Parameters again differed, albeit to a lesser extent, and model fit was improved in four out of five scales by the removal of negatively worded items. These results indicated that positively and negatively worded items were not psychometrically interchangeable and that negatively worded items have limited utility. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Descriptors: Item Response Theory, Psychometrics, Personality Measures, Test Items, Difficulty Level, Goodness of Fit, Language Usage, Comparative Analysis, College Students, Alumni
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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