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J Appl Meas. 2002;3(3):282-99.

Examining item difficulty and response time on perceptual ability test items.

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American Dental Association, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


This study examined item calibration stability in relation to response time and the levels of item difficulty between different response time groups on a sample of 389 examinees responding to six different subtest items of the Perceptual Ability Test (PAT). The results indicated that no Differential Item Functioning (DIF) was found and a significant correlation coefficient of item difficulty was formed between slow and fast responders. Three distinct levels of difficulty emerged among the six subtests across groups. Slow responders spent significantly more time than fast responders on the four most difficult subtests. A positive significant relationship was found between item difficulty and response time across groups on the overall perceptual ability test items. Overall, this study found that: 1) the same underlying construct is being measured across groups, 2) the PAT scores were equally useful across groups, 3) different sources of item difficulty may exist among the six subtests, and 4) more difficult test items may require more time to answer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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