Latent class models for testing monotonicity and invariant item ordering for polytomous items

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Abstract

Two assumptions that are relevant to many applications using item response theory are the assumptions of monotonicity (M) and invariant item ordering (IIO). A latent class model is proposed for ordinal items with inequality constraints on the class-specific item means. This model is used as a tool for testing for violations of M and IIO. A Gibbs sampling scheme is used for estimating the model parameters. It is shown that the deviance information criterion can be used as an overall test of M and IIO, while posterior predictive checks can be used to test these assumptions at the item level. A real data application illustrates a model-fitting strategy for detecting items that violate M and IIO.

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