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ERIC Number: EJ1144186
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0895-7347
Exploring the Robustness of a Unidimensional Item Response Theory Model with Empirically Multidimensional Data
Anderson, Daniel; Kahn, Joshua D.; Tindal, Gerald
Applied Measurement in Education, v30 n3 p163-177 2017
Unidimensionality and local independence are two common assumptions of item response theory. The former implies that all items measure a common latent trait, while the latter implies that responses are independent, conditional on respondents' location on the latent trait. Yet, few tests are truly unidimensional. Unmodeled dimensions may result in test items displaying dependencies, which can lead to misestimated parameters and inflated reliability estimates. In this article, we investigate the dimensionality of interim mathematics tests and evaluate the extent to which modeling minor dimensions in the data change model parameter estimates. We found evidence of minor dimensions, but parameter estimates across models were similar. Our results indicate that minor dimensions outside the primary trait have negligible consequences on parameter estimates. This finding was observed despite the ratio of multidimensional to unidimensional items being above previously recommended thresholds.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Grade 7; Junior High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A