Quality & Quantity

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 2341–2360 | Cite as

Relevance and advantages of using the item response theory

  • Silvana Ligia Vincenzi BortolottiEmail author
  • Rafael Tezza
  • Dalton Francisco de Andrade
  • Antonio Cezar Bornia
  • Afonso Farias de Sousa Júnior


The item response theory (IRT) also known as latent trait theory, is used for the development, evaluation and administration of standardized measurements; it is widely used in the areas of psychology and education. This theory was developed and expanded for over 50 years and has contributed to the development of measurement scales of latent traits. This paper presents the basic and fundamental concepts of this IRT and a practical example of the construction of scales is proposed to illustrate the feasibility, advantages and validity of IRT through a known measurement, the height. The results obtained with the practical application of IRT confirm its effectiveness in the evaluation of latent traits.


Item response theory Latent trait Measurement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvana Ligia Vincenzi Bortolotti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rafael Tezza
    • 2
  • Dalton Francisco de Andrade
    • 3
  • Antonio Cezar Bornia
    • 4
  • Afonso Farias de Sousa Júnior
    • 5
  1. 1.Federal Technological University of Paraná, Campus MedianeiraMedianeiraBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Business AdministrationSanta Catarina State UniversityItacorubi, FlorianópolisBrazil
  3. 3.Informatics and Statistics DepartmentFederal University of Santa CatarinaTrindadeBrazil
  4. 4.Production Engineering DepartmentFederal University of Santa CatarinaTrindadeBrazil
  5. 5.Air Force UniversityRio de JaneiroBrazil

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