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Multidimensional IRT models and their applications to psychological testing

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Luning Sun.

Whether you are student, a professional or a patient in a hospital, it is almost certain that at some point in your life you have had the opportunity to sit for an exam or answer a questionnaire. But have you ever wondered, for instance, if you had a better vocabulary you could have answered a reading item faster, or maybe if the type of questions were presented in a different way your performance could be different? Also, if you agree with the Beck’s depression scale item ‘I can’t make decisions at all anymore’, was your decision made only because you are depressed or could this item also reflect anxiety?

Questions like these have intrigued researchers for decades and the majority of the models currently in use to investigate the relationship between test item parameters and person individual abilities are based on the assumption that only a single trait is predominantly measured by a test item (unidimensionality assumption). Hence, this workshop will provide you with an overview of the techniques utilized to alternatively measure multidimensional items and show how they are potentially able to increase the measurement accuracy and give new insights for the development of tests in different fields.

Please bring your own laptop and install R ( and Rstudio ( for practicals.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Psychometrics Centre Seminars series.

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