A Note on Explaining Away and Paradoxical Results in Multidimensional Item Response Theory

van Rijn, Peter, W.; Rijmen, Frank
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multidimensional IRT, paradoxical results, explaining away, Bayesian networks


Hooker and colleagues addressed a paradoxical situation that can arise in the application of multidimensional item response theory (MIRT) models to educational test data. We demonstrate that this MIRT paradox is an instance of the explaining-away phenomenon in Bayesian networks, and we attempt to enhance the understanding of MIRT models by placing the paradox in a broader statistical modeling perspective.

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