Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2014

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Lee, Won-Chan

First Committee Member

Brennan, Robert

Second Committee Member

Kolen, Michael

Third Committee Member

Yarbrough, Donald

Fourth Committee Member

Cowles, Kate

Fifth Committee Member

Harris, Deborah


The primary goal of this study was to develop a new procedure for estimating decision consistency and accuracy indices using the bifactor and testlet response theory (TRT) models. This study is the first to investigate decision consistency and accuracy from a multidimensional perspective, and the results have shown that the bifactor model at least behaved in way that met the author's expectations and represents a potential useful procedure. The TRT model, on the other hand, did not meet the author's expectations and generally showed poor model performance.

The multidimensional decision consistency and accuracy indices proposed in this study appear to provide good performance, at least for the bifactor model, in the case of a substantial testlet effect. For practitioners examining a test containing testlets for decision consistency and accuracy, a recommended first step is to check for dimensionality. If the testlets show a significant degree of multidimensionality, then the usage of the multidimensional indices proposed can be recommended as the simulation study showed an improved level of performance over unidimensional IRT models. However, if there is a not a significant degree of multidimensionality then the unidimensional IRT models and indices would perform as well, or even better, than the multidimensional models.

Another goal of this study was to compare methods for numerical integration used in the calculation of decision consistency and accuracy indices. This study investigated a new method (M method) that sampled ability estimates through a Monte-Carlo approach. In summary, the M method seems to be just as accurate as the other commonly used methods for numerical integration. However, it has some practical advantages over the D and P methods. As previously mentioned, it is not as nearly as computationally intensive as the D method. Also, the P method requires large sample sizes. In addition, the P method has conceptual disadvantage in that the conditioning variable, in theory, should be the true theta, not an estimated theta. The M method avoids both of these issues and seems to provide equally accurate estimates of decision consistency and accuracy indices, which makes it a strong option particularly in multidimensional cases.


Bifactor Model, Decision Accuracy, Decision Consistency, Multidimensional Item Response Theory, Testlet Response Model


x, 131 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 122-129).


Copyright 2014 Lee LaFond