Monte Carlo studies in item response theory

Michael Harwell, Clement A. Stone, Tse Chi Hsu, Levent Kirisci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Monte carlo studies are being used in item response theory (IRT) to provide information about how validly these methods can be applied to realistic datasets (e.g., small numbers of examinees and multidimensional data). This paper describes the conditions under which monte carlo studies are appropriate in IRT-based research, the kinds of problems these techniques have been applied to, available computer programs for generating item responses and estimating item and examinee parameters, and the importance of conceptualizing these studies as statistical sampling experiments that should be subject to the same principles of experimental design and data analysis that pertain to empirical studies. The number of replications that should be used in these studies is also addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-125
Number of pages25
JournalApplied Psychological Measurement
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Analysis of variance
  • Experimental design
  • Item response theory
  • Monte Carlo techniques
  • Multiple regression


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