Self-report measures are vulnerable to concentration and motivation problems, leading to responses that may be inconsistent with the respondent's latent trait value. We investigated response consistency in a sample (N = 860) of cardiac patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator and their partners who completed the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory on five measurement occasions. For each occasion and for both the state and trait subscales, we used the l p z person-fit statistic to assess response consistency. We used multilevel analysis to model the between-person and within-person differences in the repeated observations of response consistency using time-dependent (e.g., mood states) and time-invariant explanatory variables (e.g., demographic characteristics). Respondents with lower education, undergoing psychological treatment, and with more post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms tended to respond less consistently. The percentages of explained variance in response consistency were small. Hence, we conclude that the results give insight into the causes of response inconsistency but that the identified explanatory variables are of limited practical value for identifying respondents at risk of producing invalid test results. We discuss explanations for the small percentage of explained variance and suggest alternative methods for studying causes of response inconsistency.
Conijn, J. M., Emons, W. H. M., van Assen, M. A. L. M., Pedersen, S. S., & Sijtsma, K. (2013). Explanatory, multilevel person-fit analysis of response consistency on the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 48(5), 692-718. https://doi.org/10.1080/00273171.2013.815580