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Title:When matches are ideal: Fitting measurement models to adult attachment data
Author(s):Sun, Tianjun
Advisor(s):Drasgow, Fritz
Contributor(s):Fraley, R. Christopher
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):adult attachment
item response theory
ideal point model
typical behavior
measurement and scoring
Abstract:Many self-report inventories in social/personality psychology are developed and scored using dominance-based assumptions. Specifically, it is assumed that the relationship between item endorsement and the latent trait is monotonically increasing. It is possible, however, that the item response process for these inventories actually follows an ideal-point process in which respondents seek to endorse items that best describe them, leading to non-monotonic relations between item responses and latent traits. This study examined whether the item response process underlying the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R; Fraley, Waller, & Brennan, 2000)--a commonly used self-report measure of adult attachment styles--is best understood as a dominance or ideal-point process. The authors compared the fits of alternative models in a sample of 1,293 adults. Results showed that the ideal point model provided a good account of the response process, and provided better interpretability for the full trait continuum. Importantly, people who were the most insecure were the most likely to be scored differently under these two item response models. I confirmed this finding in a simulation study: When data were generated from an ideal-point process, scores computed using dominance model assumptions led to striking mismeasurements of attachment insecurity.
Issue Date:2017-12-13
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Tianjun Sun
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-03-13
Date Deposited:2017-12

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