Differential item functioning in multiple choice items

Paul Westers, Henk Kelderman

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

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In multiple-choice items the response probability on an item may be viewed as the result of two distinct latent processes--a cognitive process to solve the problem, and another random process that leads to the choice of a certain alternative (the process of giving the actual response). An incomplete latent class model is formulated that describes the first process by a Rasch model and the second process by a guessing model. Alternative models are specified that contain additional parameters describing differential item functioning (DIF) in the two processes. DIF with respect to either known or unknown subgroups can be tested by a likelihood ratio test that is asymptotically distributed as chi-square. As an example of the model, four five-choice items from the Second International Mathematics Study (1987) with a sample of 3,002 secondary students were considered.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 1990

Publication series

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


  • Guessing (Tests)
  • Higher Education
  • Estimation (Mathematics)
  • Probability
  • Secondary Education
  • Item Bias
  • Item Response Theory
  • Multiple Choice Tests
  • Mathematical Models
  • Foreign Countries
  • Cognitive Processes
  • IR-104145
  • METIS-136743
  • Test Items


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