Investigating the Impact of Uncertainty About Item Parameters on Ability Estimation
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Asymptotic expansions of the maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) and weighted likelihood estimator (WLE) of an examinee’s ability are derived while item parameter estimators are treated as covariates measured with error. The asymptotic formulae present the amount of bias of the ability estimators due to the uncertainty of item parameter estimators. A numerical example is presented to illustrate how to apply the formulae to evaluate the impact of uncertainty about item parameters on ability estimation and the appropriateness of estimating ability using the regular MLE or WLE method.
Keywordsbias item response theory (IRT) measurement error maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) weighted likelihood estimator (WLE)
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