Comparing optimization algorithms for item selection in Mokken scale analysis

J.H. Straat, L.A. van der Ark, K. Sijtsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Mokken scale analysis uses an automated bottom-up stepwise item selection procedure that suffers from two problems. First, when selected during the procedure items satisfy the scaling conditions but they may fail to do so after the scale has been completed. Second, the procedure is approximate and thus may not produce the optimal item partitioning. This study investigates a variation on Mokken’s item selection procedure, which alleviates the first problem, and proposes a genetic algorithm, which alleviates both problems. The genetic algorithm is an approximation to checking all possible partitionings. A simulation study shows that the genetic algorithm leads to better scaling results than the other two procedures.
Keywords: Item selection, Genetic algorithm, Mokken scaling, Test construction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-99
JournalJournal of Classification
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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