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Determinants of artificial DIF: a study based on simulated polytomous data
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2986-2128
The University of Western Australia.
2015 (English)In: Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling, ISSN 2190-0493, E-ISSN 2190-0507, Vol. 57, no 3, p. 342-376Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A general problem in DIF analyses is that some items favouring one group can induce the appear-ance of DIF in others favouring the other group. Artificial DIF is used as a concept for describing and explaining that kind of DIF which is an artefact of the procedure for identifying DIF, con-trasting it to real DIF which is inherent to an item.  

The purpose of this paper is to elucidate how real both uniform and non-uniform DIF, referenced to the expected value curve, induce artificial DIF, how this DIF impacts on the person parameter estimates and how different factors affect real and artificial DIF, in particular the alignment of person and item locations. The results show that the same basic principles apply to non-uniform DIF as to uniform DIF, but that the effects on person measurement are less pronounced in non-uniform DIF. Similar to artifi-cial DIF induced by real uniform DIF, the size of artificial DIF is determined by the magnitude of the real non-uniform DIF. In addition, in both uniform and non-uniform DIF, the magnitude of artificial DIF depends on the location of the items relative to the distribution of the persons. In contrast to uniform DIF, the direction of non-uniform real DIF (e.g. favouring one group or the other) is affected by the location of the items relative to the distribution of the persons.

The results of the simulation study also confirm that regardless of type of DIF, in the person estimates, artifi-cial DIF never balances out real DIF. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Germany: Pabst Science Publishers , 2015. Vol. 57, no 3, p. 342-376
Keyword [en]
differential item functioning, uniform, non-uniform, artificial, Rasch models
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science; Statistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38303OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-38303DiVA, id: diva2:867976
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2012-1736
Available from: 2015-11-09 Created: 2015-11-03 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Hagquist, Curt

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