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J Appl Meas. 2005;6(3):311-21.

Modeling local item dependence with the hierarchical generalized linear model.

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  • 1Psychometrics and Research Services, Harcourt Assessment, Inc., 19500 Bulverde Road, San Antonio, TX 78259, USA.


Local item dependence (LID) can emerge when the test items are nested within common stimuli or item groups. This study proposes a three-level hierarchical generalized linear model (HGLM) to model LID when LID is due to such contextual effects. The proposed three-level HGLM was examined by analyzing simulated data sets and was compared with the Rasch-equivalent two-level HGLM that ignores such a nested structure of test items. The results demonstrated that the proposed model could capture LID and estimate its magnitude. Also, the two-level HGLM resulted in larger mean absolute differences between the true and the estimated item difficulties than those from the proposed three-level HGLM. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the proposed three-level HGLM estimated the ability distribution variance unaffected by the LID magnitude, while the two-level HGLM with no LID consideration increasingly underestimated the ability variance as the LID magnitude increased.

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