A Comparison of Two Differential Item Functioning Detection Methods: Logistic Regression and an Analysis of Variance Approach Using Rasch Estimation
Description: Differential item functioning (DIF) detection rates were examined for the logistic regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA) DIF detection methods. The methods were applied to simulated data sets of varying test length (20, 40, and 60 items) and sample size (200, 400, and 600 examinees) for both equal and unequal underlying ability between groups as well as for both fixed and varying item discrimination parameters. Each test contained 5% uniform DIF items, 5% non-uniform DIF items, and 5% combination DIF (simultaneous uniform and non-uniform DIF) items. The factors were completely crossed, and each experiment was replicated 100 times. For both methods and all DIF types, a test length of 20 was sufficient for satisfactory DIF detection. The detection rate increased significantly with sample size for each method. With the ANOVA DIF method and uniform DIF, there was a difference in detection rates between discrimination parameter types, which favored varying discrimination and decreased with increased sample size. The detection rate of non-uniform DIF using the ANOVA DIF method was higher with fixed discrimination parameters than with varying discrimination parameters when relative underlying ability was unequal. In the combination DIF case, there was a three-way interaction among the experimental factors discrimination type, relative ability, and sample size for both detection methods. The error rate for the ANOVA DIF detection method decreased as test length increased and increased as sample size increased. For both methods, the error rate was slightly higher with varying discrimination parameters than with fixed. For logistic regression, the error rate increased with sample size when relative underlying ability was unequal between groups. The logistic regression method detected uniform and non-uniform DIF at a higher rate than the ANOVA DIF method. Because the type of DIF present in real data is rarely known, the logistic regression method is recommended for ...
Date: August 1995
Creator: Whitmore, Marjorie Lee Threet