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Visualizing Items and Measures: An Overview and Demonstration of the Kernel Smoothing Item Response Theory Technique

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Doi: 10.20982/tqmp.16.4.p363

Rajlic, Gordana
Keywords: exploratory psychometric analysis , IRT , kernel smoothing , nonparametric regression , visualization
Tools: R
(no sample data)   (no appendix)

The current demonstration was conducted to familiarize a broader audience of applied researchers in psychology and social sciences with the benefits of an exploratory psychometric technique -- kernel smoothing item response theory (KSIRT). A data-driven, nonparametric KSIRT provides a visual representation of the characteristics of the items in a measure (scale or test) and offers convenient preliminary feedback about the functioning of the items and the measure in a particular research context. The technique could be a useful addition to the analytical toolkit of applied researchers that work with a range of measures, within the classical test theory or IRT framework. KSIRT is described and its use is demonstrated with a set of items from a psychological well-being measure. A recently developed, easy to use R package was utilized to perform the analyses and the R code is included in the manuscript.

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