NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1286911
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2021-Apr
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1644
Can High-Dimensional Questionnaires Resolve the Ipsativity Issue of Forced-Choice Response Formats?
Schulte, Niklas; Holling, Heinz; Bürkner, Paul-Christian
Educational and Psychological Measurement, v81 n2 p262-289 Apr 2021
Forced-choice questionnaires can prevent faking and other response biases typically associated with rating scales. However, the derived trait scores are often unreliable and ipsative, making interindividual comparisons in high-stakes situations impossible. Several studies suggest that these problems vanish if the number of measured traits is high. To determine the necessary number of traits under varying sample sizes, factor loadings, and intertrait correlations, simulations were performed for the two most widely used scoring methods, namely the classical (ipsative) approach and Thurstonian item response theory (IRT) models. Results demonstrate that while especially Thurstonian IRT models perform well under ideal conditions, both methods yield insufficient reliabilities in most conditions resembling applied contexts. Moreover, not only the classical estimates but also the Thurstonian IRT estimates for questionnaires with equally keyed items remain (partially) ipsative, even when the number of traits is very high (i.e., 30). This result not only questions earlier assumptions regarding the use of classical scores in high-dimensional questionnaires, but it also raises doubts about many validation studies on Thurstonian IRT models because correlations of (partially) ipsative scores with external criteria cannot be interpreted in a usual way.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A