Mannheim Research Colloquium on Survey Methods (MaRCS): Modeling Response Styles in Rating Data

14.02.2023 - 12:00 to 13:00
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 230+231 and Zoom
Type of Event : 
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Meiser (University of Mannheim) - the lecturer will be on site


Rating items with an ordinal response format are in widespread use in various areas of psychology and the social sciences. However, rating responses not only reflect the latent traits of interest, but they are confounded with person-specific response processes, like individual interpretations and preferences of response categories irrespective of item content (i.e., response styles) or differential sensitivity to item reversal (i.e., item wording effects). Such person-specific response processes may bias individual measurement, inflate score correlations and distort group comparisons. The colloquium talk gives an overview of recent developments in Item Response Theory (IRT) which allow researchers to model individual differences in response processes and to control for their biasing effects. Such IRT approaches include (a) multidimensional and mixture-distribution IRT models that accommodate heterogeneity in the threshold parameters of response categories and (b) multiprocess decision trees with IRT nodes (IRTree models) that disentangle the measurement of target traits from other components of the rating process. The models are introduced with their theoretical and formal foundations, and they are illustrated with empirical applications from personality research and large-scale assessments. Moreover, the overview of IRT approaches will address current challenges in the modeling of response processes, including the analysis of varying impacts of response processes as a function of item position, item complexity and test length, and the modeling of heterogeneity in the kind of response processes across subpopulations. The presentation concludes with implications for test analysis and test construction, including a discussion of alternative response formats.


Please use this link to attend the colloquium via Zoom:


MaRCS is a seminar series jointly organized by the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), the University of Mannheim School of Social Sciences, and GESIS –  Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences.


Upcoming seminars:

March 28, 2023           Barbara Felderer (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)

April 20, 2023              Bella Struminskaya (Utrecht University)


You can sign-up to the MaRCS mailing list here to receive invitations to the upcoming seminars.


Florian Keusch (University of Mannheim, School of Social Sciences)

Henning Silber (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)

Bernd Weiß (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)

Alexander Wenz (University of Mannheim, MZES)