P. de Boeck
- RIM: A random item mixture model to detect Differential Item Functioning
- Journal of Educational Measurement
- Volume | Issue number
- 47 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
In this paper we present a new methodology for detecting differential item functioning (DIF). We introduce a DIF model, called the random item mixture (RIM), that is based on a Rasch model with random item difficulties (besides the common random person abilities). In addition, a mixture model is assumed for the item difficulties such that the items may belong to one of two classes: a DIF or a non-DIF class. The crucial difference between the DIF class and the non-DIF class is that the item difficulties in the DIF class may differ according to the observed person groups while they are equal across the person groups for the items from the non-DIF class. Statistical inference for the RIM is carried out in a Bayesian framework. The performance of the RIM is evaluated using a simulation study in which it is compared with traditional procedures, like the likelihood ratio test, the Mantel-Haenszel procedure and the standardizedp-DIF procedure. In this comparison, the RIM performs better than the other methods. Finally, the usefulness of the model is also demonstrated on a real life data set.
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