Differential item functioning dif is a statistical characteristic of an item that shows the extent to which the item might be measuring different abilities for members of separate subgroups average item scores for subgroups having the same overall score on the test are compared to determine whether the item is measuring in essentially the . Differential item functioning dif has been increasingly applied in fairness studies in psychometric circles judicious application of this methodology by the researchers however requires an understanding of the technical complexities involved. But item functioning is expected to be altered by interventions targeted at those items for instance the use of calculators in arithmetic tests or the use of assistive devices on mobility items differential item functioning dif investigates the items in a test one at a time for signs of interactions with sample characteristics. O differential item functioning not item bias is the term used o dif is a statistical property which states that matched ability groups have differential probabilities of success on an item o . In brief differential item functioning dif occurs when groups such as defined by gender ethnicity age or education have different probabilities of endorsing a given item on a multi item scale after controlling for overall scale scores an item is labeled as having dif when people with the
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