CitationAmes, Allison J. & Myers, Aaron J. (2020). Explaining Variability in Response Style Traits: A Covariate-Adjusted IRTree. Educational and Psychological Measurement. , PMCID: PMC8243201
AbstractContamination of responses due to extreme and midpoint response style can confound the interpretation of scores, threatening the validity of inferences made from survey responses. This study incorporated person-level covariates in the multidimensional item response tree model to explain heterogeneity in response style. We include an empirical example and two simulation studies to support the use and interpretation of the model: parameter recovery using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) estimation and performance of the model under conditions with and without response styles present. Item intercepts mean bias and root mean square error were small at all sample sizes. Item discrimination mean bias and root mean square error were also small but tended to be smaller when covariates were unrelated to, or had a weak relationship with, the latent traits. Item and regression parameters are estimated with sufficient accuracy when sample sizes are greater than approximately 1,000 and MCMC estimation with the Gibbs sampler is used. The empirical example uses the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health’s sexual knowledge scale. Meaningful predictors associated with high levels of extreme response latent trait included being non-White, being male, and having high levels of parental support and relationships. Meaningful predictors associated with high levels of the midpoint response latent trait included having low levels of parental support and relationships. Item-level covariates indicate the response style pseudo-items were less easy to endorse for self-oriented items, whereas the trait of interest pseudo-items were easier to endorse for self-oriented items.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleEducational and Psychological Measurement
Author(s)Ames, Allison J.
Myers, Aaron J.