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Psychol Methods. 2004 Sep;9(3):354-68.

Analyzing psychopathology items: a case for nonparametric item response theory modeling.

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  • 1Department of Research Methodology, Measurement and Data Analysis, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands.


The authors discuss the applicability of nonparametric item response theory (IRT) models to the construction and psychometric analysis of personality and psychopathology scales, and they contrast these models with parametric IRT models. They describe the fit of nonparametric IRT to the Depression content scale of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory--2 (J. N. Butcher, W. G. Dahlstrom, J. R. Graham, A. Tellegen, & B. Kaemmer, 1989). They also show how nonparametric IRT models can easily be applied and how misleading results from parametric IRT models can be avoided. They recommend the use of nonparametric IRT modeling prior to using parametric logistic models when investigating personality data.

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