Using the discontinuation rule to reduce the effect of random guessing on parameter estimation in the item response theory

  • Tianshu PanEmail author
  • Youngmi Cho
Original Paper


The discontinuation rule is often used to reduce the effect of random guessing in psychological tests. It may also play the similar role in the item response theory. In this article, a Monte Carlo study was implemented to explore the feasibility of the four- and six-consecutive-zero discontinuation rules to reduce the effect of random guessing on parameter estimation in the Rasch model. The results showed that random guessing inflated estimation errors, and these discontinuation rules can reduce this effect on item-parameter estimation under the joint and marginal maximum likelihood, but can do so only for person-parameter estimation under the marginal maximum likelihood and expected a posteriori methods.


Discontinuation rules Maximum likelihood The Rasch model 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Behaviormetric Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NCS Pearson, Inc.San AntonioUSA
  2. 2.American Institute for ResearchWashingtonUSA

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