The Impact of Item Sequence Order on Local Item Dependence: An Item Response Theory Perspective

Kenneth D. Royal



Local item dependence (LID) suggests a response to one item was directly influenced by a response to another item. Items exhibiting LID typically cause survey participants to provide biased/inaccurate responses, which ultimately poses a threat to score validity. Further, conflicting ‘best practice’ guidelines from survey research experts on how to construct surveys, particularly whether related items should be presented in a random or consistent order, may contribute to LID bias. The purpose of this paper is to bring attention to the issue of LID via a case example/experiment and illustrate how following best practice guidelines for survey construction may actually increase bias/error in some instances. Implications and recommendations are discussed.



Survey Research; Rasch Measurement; Local Item Dependence; Statistical Dependency; Psychometrics; Best Practice; Item Order; Bias

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