Original Research

Statistical and extra-statistical considerations in differential item functioning analyses

G. K. Huysamen
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 30, No 4 | a173 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v30i4.173 | © 2004 G. K. Huysamen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 October 2004 | Published: 26 October 2004

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G. K. Huysamen, University of the Free State, South Africa

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Abstract

This article briefly describes the main procedures for performing differential item functioning (DIF) analyses and points out some of the statistical and extra-statistical implications of these methods. Research findings on the sources of DIF, including those associated with translated tests, are reviewed. As DIF analyses are oblivious of correlations between a test and relevant criteria, the elimination of differentially functioning items does not necessarily improve predictive validity or reduce any predictive bias. The implications of the results of past DIF research for test development in the multilingual and multi-cultural South African society are considered.

Opsomming
Hierdie artikel beskryf kortliks die hoofprosedures vir die ontleding van differensiële itemfunksionering (DIF) en verwys na sommige van die statistiese en buite-statistiese implikasies van hierdie metodes. ’n Oorsig word verskaf van navorsingsbevindings oor die bronne van DIF, insluitend dié by vertaalde toetse. Omdat DIF-ontledings nie die korrelasies tussen ’n toets en relevante kriteria in ag neem nie, sal die verwydering van differensieel-funksionerende items nie noodwendig voorspellingsgeldigheid verbeter of voorspellingsydigheid verminder nie. Die implikasies van vorige DIF-navorsingsbevindings vir toetsontwikkeling in die veeltalige en multikulturele Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskap word oorweeg.


Keywords

Considerations; Differential item functioning analyses

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