A tutorial on how to do a Mokken scale analysis on your test and questionnaire data

K. Sijtsma*, L.A. van der Ark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past decade, Mokken scale analysis (MSA) has rapidly grown in popularity among researchers from many different research areas. This tutorial provides researchers with a set of techniques and a procedure for their application, such that the construction of scales that have superior measurement properties is further optimized, taking full advantage of the properties of MSA. First, we define the conceptual context of MSA, discuss the two item response theory (IRT) models that constitute the basis of MSA, and discuss how these models differ from other IRT models. Second, we discuss dos and don'ts for MSA; the don'ts include misunderstandings we have frequently encountered with researchers in our three decades of experience with real-data MSA. Third, we discuss a methodology for MSA on real data that consist of a sample of persons who have provided scores on a set of items that, depending on the composition of the item set, constitute the basis for one or more scales, and we use the methodology to analyse an example real-data set.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-158
JournalBritish Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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