A compensatory approach to optimal selection with mastery scores

Willem J. van der Linden, Hendrik J. Vos

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

131 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents some Bayesian theories of simultaneous optimization of decision rules for test-based decisions. Simultaneous decision making arises when an institution has to make a series of selection, placement, or mastery decisions with respect to subjects from a population. An obvious example is the use of individualized instruction in education. Compared with separate optimization, a simultaneous approach has two advantages. First, test scores used in previous decisions can be used as "prior" data in later decisions, and the efficiency of the decisions can be increased. Second, more realistic utility structures can be obtained defining utility functions for earlier decisions on later criteria. An important distinction is made between weak and strong decision rules. As opposed to strong rules, weak rules are allowed to be a function of prior test scores. Conditions for monotonicity of optimal weak and strong rules are presented. Also, it is shown that under mild conditions on the test score distributions and utility functions, weak rules are always compensatory by nature. To illustrate this approach, a common decision problem in education and psychology, consisting of a selection decision for treatment followed by a mastery decision, is analyzed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Publication series

NameOMD research report
PublisherUniversity of Twente, Faculty of Educational Science and Technology


  • IR-103751
  • Scoring
  • Foreign Countries
  • Scores
  • Test Items
  • METIS-140155
  • Bayesian Statistics
  • Decision Making
  • Selection


Dive into the research topics of 'A compensatory approach to optimal selection with mastery scores'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this