Behavior research methods instruments & computers vol:30 issue:3 pages:501-505
We present a method for studying experimental data based on a psychometric model, the "Rasch model" (Rasch, 1966; Thissen & Steinberg, 1986). We illustrate the method with the use of a data set in the field of concept research. More specifically, we investigate whether a conjunctive concept can be seen as an additive combination of its constituents. High correlations between model and data are obtained, but a formal goodness-of-fit test indicates that the model does not completely account for the data. We then alter the Rasch model in such a way as to capture our idea of why the model deviates from the data. This results in higher correlations and a strong increase in goodness-of-fit. It is concluded that our ideas, as incorporated in the model, adequately summarize the data. More generally, this research illustrates that applying the Rasch model and altering it according to one's hypotheses is an excellent way to analyze experimental data.