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Influence of Context on Item Parameters in Forced-Choice Personality Assessments

Lin, Yin, Brown, Anna (2016) Influence of Context on Item Parameters in Forced-Choice Personality Assessments. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 77 (3). pp. 389-414. ISSN 0013-1644. E-ISSN 1552-3888. (doi:10.1177/0013164416646162) (KAR id:54785)


A fundamental assumption in computerized adaptive testing (CAT) is that item parameters are invariant with respect to context – items surrounding the administered item. This assumption, however, may not hold in forced-choice (FC) assessments, where explicit comparisons are made between items included in the same block. We empirically examined the influence of context on item parameters by comparing parameter estimates from two FC instruments. The first instrument was compiled of blocks of three items, whereas in the second, the context was manipulated by adding one item to each block, resulting in blocks of four. The item parameter estimates were highly similar. However, a small number of significant deviations were observed, confirming the importance of context when designing adaptive FC assessments. Two patterns of such deviations were identified, and methods to reduce their occurrences in a FC CAT setting were proposed. It was shown that with a small proportion of violations of the parameter invariance assumption, score estimation remained stable.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0013164416646162
Projects: Asking the right questions: Increasing fairness and accuracy of personality assessments with Computerised Adaptive Testing
Uncontrolled keywords: Forced choice, computerized adaptive testing, multidimensional item response theory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (
Depositing User: Anna Brown
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2016 09:24 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Lin, Yin.

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Brown, Anna.

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