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Investigating the Normativity of Trait Estimates From Multidimensional Forced-Choice Data

Frick, Susanne, Brown, Anna, Wetzel, Eunike (2021) Investigating the Normativity of Trait Estimates From Multidimensional Forced-Choice Data. Multivariate Behavioral Research, . ISSN 0027-3171. (doi:10.1080/00273171.2021.1938960) (KAR id:88395)


The Thurstonian item response model (Thurstonian IRT model) allows deriving normative trait estimates from multidimensional forced-choice (MFC) data. In the MFC format, persons must rank-order items that measure different attributes according to how well the items describe them. This study evaluated the normativity of Thurstonian IRT trait estimates both in a simulation and empirically. The simulation investigated normativity and compared Thurstonian IRT trait estimates to those using classical partially ipsative scoring, from dichotomous true-false (TF) data and rating scale data. The results showed that, with blocks of opposite-keyed items, Thurstonian IRT trait estimates were normative in contrast to classical partially ipsative estimates. Unbalanced numbers of items per trait, few opposite-keyed items, traits correlated positively or assessing fewer traits did not decrease measurement precision markedly. Measurement precision was lower than that of rating scale data. The empirical study investigated whether relative MFC responses provide a better differentiation of behaviors within persons than absolute TF responses. However, criterion validity was equal and construct validity (with constructs measured by rating scales) lower in MFC. Thus, Thurstonian IRT modeling of MFC data overcomes the drawbacks of classical scoring, but gains in validity may depend on eliminating common method biases from the comparison.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/00273171.2021.1938960
Uncontrolled keywords: Forced-choice format, Thurstonian IRT model, ipsative data, true-false, rating scale
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Anna Brown
Date Deposited: 27 May 2021 10:34 UTC
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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