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Contributions to constructing forced-choice questionnaires using the Thurstonian IRT model

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Sun, L 
Qin, Z 
Wang, S 


Forced-choice questionnaires involve presenting items in blocks and asking respondents to provide a full or partial ranking of the items within each block. To prevent involuntary or voluntary response distortions, blocks are usually formed of items that possess similar levels of desirability. Assembling forced-choice blocks is not a trivial process, because in addition to desirability, both the direction and magnitude of relationships between items and the traits being measured (i.e., factor loadings) need to be carefully considered. Based on simulations and empirical studies using item pairs, we provide recommendations on how to construct item pairs matched by desirability. When all pairs contain items keyed in the same direction, score reliability is improved by maximising within-block loading differences. Higher reliability is obtained when even a small number of pairs consist of unequally keyed items.



Forced-choice questionnaire, Thurstonian IRT model, social desirability, Reproducibility of Results, Psychometrics, Surveys and Questionnaires

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Multivariate Behavioral Research

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant U1911201