Item Response Theory for Psychologists

Item Response Theory for Psychologists

Item Response Theory for Psychologists

Item Response Theory for Psychologists

Synopsis

This book develops an intuitive understanding of IRT principles through the use of graphical displays and analogies to familiar psychological principles. It surveys contemporary IRT models, estimation methods, and computer programs. Polytomous IRT models are given central coverage since many psychological tests use rating scales. Ideal for clinical, industrial, counseling, educational, and behavioral medicine professionals and students familiar with classical testing principles, exposure to material covered in first-year graduate statistics courses is helpful. All symbols and equations are thoroughly explained verbally and graphically.

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to explain the new measurement theory to a primarily psychological audience. Item response theory (IRT) is not only the psychometric theory underlying many major tests today, but it has many important research applications. Unfortunately, the few available textbooks are not easily accessible to the audience of psychological researchers and practitioners; the books contain too many equations and derivations and too few familiar concepts. Furthermore, most IRT texts are slanted toward understanding IRT application within the context of large-scale educational assessments, such as analyzing the SAT. Our approach is more geared toward a psychological audience that is familiar with small-scale cognitive and personality measures or that wants to use IRT to analyze scales used in their own research.

Herein, familiar psychological concepts, issues, and examples are used to help explain various principles in IRT. We first seek to develop the reader's intuitive understanding of IRT principles by using graphical displays and analogies to classical measurement theory. Then, the book surveys contemporary IRT models, estimation methods, and computer programs. Because many psychological tests use rating scales, polytomous IRT models are given central coverage. Applications to substantive research problems, as well as to applied testing issues, are described.

The book is intended for psychology professionals and graduate students who are familiar with testing principles and classical test theory (CTT), such as covered in a graduate textbook on psychological testing (e.g., Anastasi &Urbina, 1997). Furthermore, the reader should have had a first-year sequence in graduate statistics, such as required in most psychology graduate programs. The reader need not have further training in either . . .

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