A Response Model for Multiple-Choice Items

  • David Thissen
  • Lynne Steinberg


In the mid-1960s, Samejima initiated the development of item response models that involve separate response functions for all of the alternatives in the multiple choice and Likert-type formats. Her work in this area began at the Educational Testing Service and continued during a visit to the L.L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory at the University of North Carolina. Both Samejima’s (1969; this volume) original model for graded item responses and Bock’s (1972; this volume) model for nominal responses were originally intended to produce response functions for all of the alternatives of multiple-choice items. For various reasons, neither model has proved entirely satisfactory for that purpose, although both have been applied in other contexts. Using a combination of ideas suggested by Bock (1972) and Samejima (1968, 1979), a multiple-choice model was developed that produces response functions that fit unidimensional multiple-choice tests better (Thissen and Steinberg, 1984); that model is the subject of this chapter.


Response Function Differential Item Functioning Item Response Theory Item Analysis Item Parameter 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Thissen
  • Lynne Steinberg

There are no affiliations available

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