Item Response Theory

Item response theory (IRT) refers to a set of statistical models and related procedures for explaining the categorical item response data from a test or questionnaire as a function of one or more continuous latent variables. Although IRT was developed primarily in the context of educational testing and continues to be used in prominent large-scale testing programs (e.g., achievement tests), IRT is now applied in a wide variety of settings, such as personality and psychopathology assessment, organizational research, patient-reported health outcome research, and professional competency testing. In principle, IRT models can be fitted to virtually any set of categorical variables and models have been developed for a wide variety of item types, including those scored dichotomously (e.g., correct = 1 vs. incorrect = 0), ...

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