Response style analysis with threshold and multi-process IRT models: A review and tutorial

Ulf Böckenholt*, Thorsten Meiser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two different item response theory model frameworks have been proposed for the assessment and control of response styles in rating data. According to one framework, response styles can be assessed by analysing threshold parameters in Rasch models for ordinal data and in mixture-distribution extensions of such models. A different framework is provided by multi-process item response tree models, which can be used to disentangle response processes that are related to the substantive traits and response tendencies elicited by the response scale. In this tutorial, the two approaches are reviewed, illustrated with an empirical data set of the two-dimensional ‘Personal Need for Structure’ construct, and compared in terms of multiple criteria. Mplus is used as a software framework for (mixed) polytomous Rasch models and item response tree models as well as for demonstrating how parsimonious model variants can be specified to test assumptions on the structure of response styles and attitude strength. Although both frameworks are shown to account for response styles, they differ on the quantitative criteria of model selection, practical aspects of model estimation, and conceptual issues of representing response styles as continuous and multidimensional sources of individual differences in psychological assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-181
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • MPLUS
  • attitudinal measurement
  • item-response tree models
  • response style
  • threshold item-response models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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