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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/16178

Title: Reliability Measures In Item Response Theory: Manifest Versus Latent Correlation Functions
Authors: Milanzi, Elasma
Molenberghs, Geert
Alonso Abad, Ariel
Verbeke, Geert
De Boeck, Paul
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: British Journal of Mathematical & Statistical Psychology, 68 (1), p. 43-64
Abstract: For item response theory (IRT) models, which belong to the class of generalized linear or non-linear mixed models, reliability at the scale of observed scores, i.e., manifest correlation, is usually of greater scientific interest, while its calculation is more difficult than latent correlation based reliability. This is not in the least because it cannot be calculated explicitly when the logit link is used in conjunction with normal random effects. As such, approximations like Fisher’s information coefficient, Cronbach’s , or the latent correlation are calculated, allegedly because it is easy to do so. Cronbach’s has well-known and serious drawbacks, Fisher’s information is not meaningful under certain circumstances and there is an important but often overlooked difference between latent and manifest correlations. Here, manifest correlation refers to correlation between observed scores, while latent correlation refers to correlation between scores at the latent scale, e.g., logit or probit scale. Thus, using one in place of the other can lead to erroneous conclusions. Taylor series based reliability measures, which are based on manifest correlation functions, are derived and a careful comparison of reliability measures based on latent correlations, Fisher’s information, and exact reliability is effectuated. The latent correlations are virtually always considerably higher than their manifest counterparts, Fisher’s information measure shows no coherent behavior (it is even negative in some cases), while the newly introduced Taylor series based approximations reflect the exact reliability very closely. Comparisons among the various types of correlations, for various IRT models, are made using algebraic expressions, Monte Carlo simulations, and data analysis. Considering the light computational burden and the performance of Taylor series based reliability measures, their use is recommended.
Notes: Molenberghs, G (reprint author), Hasselt Univ, Ctr Stat, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium geert.molenberghs@uhasselt.be
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/16178
DOI: 10.1111/bmsp.12033
ISI #: 000347892300003
ISSN: 0007-1102
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2016
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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