Guessing effects frequently occur in testing data in educational or psychological applications. Different item response models have been proposed to handle guessing effects in dichotomous test items. However, it has been pointed out in the literature that the often employed three-parameter logistic model poses implausible assumptions regarding the guessing process. The four-parameter guessing model has been proposed as an alternative to circumvent these conceptual issues. In this article, the four-parameter guessing model is compared with alternative item response models for handling guessing effects through a simulation study and an empirical example. It turns out that model selection for item response models should be rather based on the AIC than the BIC. However, the RMSD item fit statistic used with typical cutoff values was found to be ineffective in detecting misspecified item response models. Furthermore, sufficiently large sample sizes are required for sufficiently precise item parameter estimation. Moreover, it is argued that the criterion of the statistical model fit should not be the sole criterion of model choice. The item response model used in operational practice should be valid with respect to the meaning of the ability variable and the underlying model assumptions. In this sense, the four-parameter guessing model could be the model of choice in educational large-scale assessment studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number95
JournalMathematical and Computational Applications
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17.11.2022
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    Research areas

  • Methodological research and method development - item response model, four-parameter guessing model, guessing effects, multiple-choice items

ID: 5793615