, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 217-236

Ordinal test fidelity estimated by an item sampling model

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A test theory using only ordinal assumptions is presented. It is based on the idea that the test items are a sample from a universe of items. The sum across items of the ordinal relations for a pair of persons on the universe items is analogous to a true score. Using concepts from ordinal multiple regression, it is possible to estimate the tau correlations of test items with the universe order from the taus among the test items. These in turn permit the estimation of the tau of total score with the universe. It is also possible to estimate the odds that the direction of a given observed score difference is the same as that of the true score difference. The estimates of the correlations between items and universe and between total score and universe are found to agree well with the actual values in both real and artificial data.

Part of this paper was presented at the June, 1989, Meeting of the Psychometric Society. The authors wish to thank several reviewers for their suggestions. This research was mainly done while the second author was a University Fellow at the University of Southern California.