Negative Item Response Bias in Education-Based Surveys - a Factor Modelling Approach

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP04/2021
 
Publication date: March 2021
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Stellenbosch University Economics Department & RESEP)
 
Abstract:

In applied survey-based research, it is common to encounter responses based on both positively and negatively worded questions. In practice, responses are typically recoded to ensure that the numerical values attached to the responses of positively and negatively worded questions are aligned. This is done under the assumption that the responses to negatively worded questions are perfectly reversed reflections of responses to identical or similar positively worded questions - that the variation is inversed. This paper tests this assumption within a framework of factor modelling using South African Grade 4 TIMSS data. It finds significant differences in the degree to which the different question orientations capture information about single latent constructs that a specific group of questions is designed to capture. And thus, a failure of the assumption.

 
JEL Classification:

A21, C81, C83, I21, O12

Keywords:

Latent Construct Estimation, Negatively Item Response, Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Hierarchical Cluster Analysis

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13 September 2021
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BER Weekly

13 September 2021
It was a data-heavy week in SA, with the 2021Q2 real GDP data indicating that the economy had better-than-expected recovery momentum in the first half of the year. While growth remained solid in the second quarter, both the survey and actual data released last week revealed the significant impact that the range of shocks at the start of the third quarter...

Read the full issue