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A Latent Structure Model for Answering Personal Questions NICHD

Damarin, Fred
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Item Response Theory, Psychological Studies, Psychometrics, Response Style (Tests), Test Theory, Test Validity


A latent structure model for answering true-false questionnaire items is shown to predict a circular ordering among some MMPI scales that were used in a recent study by Wiggins and Lovell (1965). A circular ordering can be demonstrated, but certain systematic departures from the predicted effects also occur. The data suggest the operation of three latent traits: self-descriptive accuracy, favorable bias, and a tendency to endorse items that are neutral in the sense of being unrelated to the other two traits. Alternative interpretations of the results are discussed together with suggestions for further research.

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