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ERIC Number: EJ1036631
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1536-6367
Alternative Measurement Paradigms for Measuring Executive Functions: SEM (Formative and Reflective Models) and IRT (Rasch Models)
Engelhard, George, Jr.; Wang, Jue
Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, v12 n3 p102-108 2014
The authors of the Focus article pose important questions regarding whether or not performance-based tasks related to executive functioning are best viewed as reflective or formative indicators. Miyake and Friedman (2012) define executive functioning (EF) as "a set of general-purpose control mechanisms, often linked to the prefrontal cortex of the brain, that regulate the dynamics of human cognition and action. EFs are important to study because they are a core component of self-control or self-regulation ability (or 'willpower')" (p. 8). Reflective and formative models are being actively debated within the structural equation modeling (SEM) literature. In essence, reflective models are defined by effect indicators (construct causes the tasks), while formative models are defined by causal indicators (tasks cause the construct). Major measurement models grounded in classical test theory and factor analysis are reflective models. Bollen and Lennox (1991) have suggested an alternative perspective based on SEM that offers an option for using formative models to define constructs. The purpose of the Focus article is to critically evaluate the routine use of reflective models for measuring individual differences in performance-based tasks and to challenge researchers to formative models of executive functioning. In this commentary, the authors briefly consider some of the implications of using different procedures for measuring EF: SEM (reflective and formative models) and IRT (Rasch models). Two questions guide their comments: (1) What are the key distinctions between reflective and formative models from a structural equation perspective? and (2) How are these distinctions viewed from the perspective of item response theory?
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A