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Front. Educ. | doi: 10.3389/feduc.2018.00014

ASSESSING DIFFERENTIAL ITEM FUNCTIONING ON THE TEST OF RELATIONAL REASONING

 Denis Dumas1* and Patricia Alexander2
  • 1Research Methods and Statistics, University of Denver, United States
  • 2Human Development and Quantitative Methods, University of Maryland, College Park, United States

The Test of Relational Reasoning (TORR) is designed to assess the ability to identify complex patterns within visuospatial stimuli. The TORR is designed for use in school and university settings, and therefore, its measurement invariance across diverse groups is critical. In this investigation, a large sample, representative of a major U.S. university on key demographic variables, was collected, and the resulting data were analyzed using a multi-group, multidimensional item-response theory model-comparison procedure. No significant differential item functioning (DIF) was found on any of the TORR items across any of the demographic groups of interest. This finding is interpreted as evidence of the cultural fairness of the TORR, and potential test-development choices that may have contributed to that cultural fairness are discussed.

Keywords: differential item functioning (DIF), relational reasoning, cultural fairness, Educational testing and assessment, Psychometrics

Received: 18 Sep 2017; Accepted: 15 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Christopher C. Deneen, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore

Reviewed by:

Raman Grover, Ministry of Education, Canada
Okan Bulut, University of Alberta, Canada  

Copyright: © 2018 Dumas and Alexander. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Denis Dumas, University of Denver, Research Methods and Statistics, 233 Katherine A Ruffatto Hall, 1999 East Evans Avenue, Denver, 80208, Colorado, United States, denisgdumas@gmail.com