- Cognitive psychology meets psychometric theory: on the relation between process models for decision making and latent variable models for individual differences
- Psychological Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 118 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
This article analyzes latent variable models from a cognitive psychology perspective. We start by discussing work by Tuerlinckx and De Boeck (2005), who proved that a diffusion model for 2-choice response processes entails a 2-parameter logistic item response theory (IRT) model for individual differences in the response data. Following this line of reasoning, we discuss the appropriateness of IRT for measuring abilities and bipolar traits, such as pro versus contra attitudes. Surprisingly, if a diffusion model underlies the response processes, IRT models are appropriate for bipolar traits but not for ability tests. A reconsideration of the concept of ability that is appropriate for such situations leads to a new item response model for accuracy and speed based on the idea that ability has a natural zero point. The model implies fundamentally new ways to think about guessing, response speed, and person fit in IRT. We discuss the relation between this model and existing models as well as implications for psychology and psychometrics.
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