A Multidimensional Model to Facilitate Within Person Comparison of Attributes

Mark L. Davison, Seungwon Chung, Nidhi Kohli, Ernest C. Davenport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In psychological research and practice, a person’s scores on two different traits or abilities are often compared. Such within-person comparisons require that measurements have equal units (EU) and/or equal origins: an assumption rarely validated. We describe a multidimensional SEM/IRT model from the literature and, using principles of conjoint measurement, show that its expected response variables satisfy the axioms of additive conjoint measurement for measurement on a common scale. In an application to Quality of Life data, the EU analysis is used as a pre-processing step to derive a simple structure Quality of Life model with three dimensions expressed in equal units. The results are used to address questions that can only be addressed by scores expressed in equal units. When the EU model fits the data, scores in the corresponding simple structure model will have added validity in that they can address questions that cannot otherwise be addressed. Limitations and the need for further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-316
Number of pages21
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Psychometric Society 2024.


  • additive conjoint measurement
  • educational measurement
  • item response theory
  • latent variable modeling
  • psychological measurement
  • quality of life
  • structural equation modeling


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