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An Empirical Study of a Logistic Mental Test Model

Ross, John
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Birnbaum Models, Item Response Theory, Mathematical Models


A logistic model developed by Birnbaum was tested in two ways. First, plots of proportions of subjects in different score categories were examined for consistency with the assumption of a logistic trace line, and especially for departures from the logistic which seemed due to guessing in multiple-choice items. The results showed that guessing seemed to have little effect. Second, an attempt was made to predict the obtained score distributions of samples of subjects on six tests from item parameters estimated on independent samples. The fits were good in all cases, despite considerable differences between the tests and some extremely odd distributions.

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