Skip to main content

Modeling forced-choice response formats

Brown, Anna and Maydeu-Olivares, Alberto (2018) Modeling forced-choice response formats. In: Irwing, Paul and Booth, Tom and Hughes, David, eds. The Wiley Handbook of Psychometric Testing. Wiley-Blackwell, London, pp. 523-570. ISBN 978-1-118-48983-3. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:40792)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of Forced-choice chapter REVISION in press.pdf]


To counter response distortions associated with the use of rating scales in personality and similar assessments, test items may be presented in so-called ‘forced-choice’ formats. Respondents may be asked to rank-order a number of items, or distribute a fixed number of points between several items – therefore they are forced to make a choice. Until recently, basic classical scoring methods were applied to such formats, leading to scores relative to the person’s mean (ipsative scores). While interpretable in intra-individual assessments, ipsative scores are problematic when used for inter-individual comparisons. Recent advances in estimation methods enabled rapid development of item response models for comparative data, including the Thurstonian IRT model (Brown & Maydeu-Olivares, 2011a), the Multi-Unidimensional Pairwise Preference model (Stark, Chernyshenko & Drasgow, 2005), and others. Appropriate item response modeling enables estimation of person scores that are directly interpretable for inter-individual comparisons, without the distortions and artifacts produced by ipsative scoring.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: forced-choice format, ipsative data, single-stimulus format, multidimensional IRT, comparative judgment, dominance models, ideal-point models, unfolding
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Anna Brown
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2014 08:05 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:53 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Brown, Anna:
  • Depositors only (login required):