Assessing Dimensionality of a Set of Items - Comparison of Different Approaches
ILLINOIS UNIV AT URBANA DEPT OF STATISTICS
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This study examines the performance of the following four methodologies for assessing unidimensionality DIMTEST, Holland and Rosenbaums approach, linear factor analysis, and nonlinear factor analysis. Each method is examined and compared with other methods on simulated data sets and on real data sets. Seven data sets, all with 2000 examinees, were generated three unidimensional, and four two-dimensional data sets. Two levels of correlation between abilities were considered p.3 and p.7. Eight different real data sets were used four of them were expected to be unidimensional, and the other four were expected to be two-dimensional. Findings suggest that, while the linear factor analysis often overestimated the number of underlying dimensions, the other three methods correctly confirmed unidimensionality but differed in their ability to detect lack of unidimensionality. DIMTEST showed excellent power in detecting lack of unidimensionality Holland and Rosenbaums and nonlinear factor analysis approaches showed good power, provided the correlation between abilities was low.
- Statistics and Probability