Examining differential item functioning due to difficulty and alternative attractiveness

Paul Westers, Henk Kelderman

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A method for analyzing test item responses is proposed to examine differential item functioning (DIF) in multiple-choice items through a combination of the usual notion of DIF, for correct/incorrect responses and information about DIF contained in each of the alternatives. The proposed method uses incomplete latent class models to examine whether DIF is caused by the attractiveness of the alternatives, difficulty of the item, or both. DIF with respect to either known or unknown subgroups can be tested by a likelihood ratio test that is asymptotically distributed as a chi-square random variable.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)107-118
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • IR-85751
  • Differential item functioning
  • Rasch model
  • METIS-135285
  • incomplete latent class model
  • goodness-of-fit testing
  • guessing model
  • multiple choice items

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