Parameter Linking

Authored by: Wim J. van der Linden , Michelle D. Barrett

Handbook of Item Response Theory

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466514331
eBook ISBN: 9781315117430
Adobe ISBN:


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Response models with latent parameters generally lack identifiability, which means that different combinations of values for their parameters may imply the same distribution for the observed data. If this happens, observed data do not allow us to distinguish between these alternative parameter values, and any attempt at statistical inference with respect to the model breaks down (San Martín, Volume Two, Chapter 8). Generally, identifiability problems are caused by an unbalance between the numbers of model equations and their unknown parameters. As both are fixed for a given response matrix, the only option left to make the model identifiable is to restrict the parameters further by adding extra equations to the system.

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