Abstract
When cognitive and educational tests are administered under time limits, tests may become speeded and this may affect the reliability and validity of the resulting test scores. Prior research has shown that time limits may create or enlarge gender gaps in cognitive and academic testing. On average, women complete fewer items than men when a test is administered with a strict time limit, whereas gender gaps are frequently reduced when time limits are relaxed. In this study, we propose that gender differences in test strategy might inflate gender gaps favoring men, and relate test strategy to stereotype threat effects under which women underperform due to the pressure of negative stereotypes about their performance. First, we applied a Bayesian twodimensional item response theory (IRT) model to data obtained from two registered reports that investigated stereotype threat in mathematics, and estimated the latent correlation between underlying test strategy (here, completion factor, a proxy for working speed) and mathematics ability. Second, we tested the gender gap and assessed potential effects of stereotype threat on female test performance. We found a positive correlation between the completion factor and mathematics ability, such that more able participants dropped out later in the test. We did not observe a stereotype threat effect but found larger gender differences on the latent completion factor than on latent mathematical ability, suggesting that test strategies affect the gender gap in timed mathematics performance. We argue that if the effect of time limits on tests is not taken into account, this may lead to test unfairness and biased group comparisons, and urge researchers to consider these effects in either their analyses or study planning.
Original language  English 

Pages (fromto)  684709 
Journal  Educational and Psychological Measurement 
Volume  83 
Issue number  4 
DOIs  
Publication status  Published  2023 
Keywords
 CONSTRAINTS
 FEMALES
 IDENTITY
 ITEM RESPONSE THEORY
 MISSINGDATA
 PITTINSKY
 REPLICATION ATTEMPT
 STEREOTYPE SUSCEPTIBILITY SHIH
 TESTPERFORMANCE
 THREAT
 gender gap
 item response theory
 mathematics
 missing data
 stereotype threat
 testtaking strategy
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Time limits as potential source of gender bias
Stoevenbelt, A. (Creator), Schwabe, I. (Creator) & Wicherts, J. (Creator), OSF, 2021
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