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Optimal Correction for Guessing in Multiple-Choice Tests

  • Espinosa Alejos, María Paz
  • Gardeazabal, Javier

Building on Item Response Theory we introduce students’ optimal behavior in multiple-choice tests. Our simulations indicate that the optimal penalty is relatively high, because although correction for guessing discriminates against risk-averse subjects, this effect is small compared with the measurement error that the penalty prevents. This result obtains when knowledge is binary or partial, under different normalizations of the score, when risk aversion is related to knowledge and when there is a pass-fail break point. We also find that the mean degree of difficulty should be close to the mean level of knowledge and that the variance of difficulty should be high.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10810/6705
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Paper provided by University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II in its series DFAEII Working Papers with number 2007-08.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ehu:dfaeii:200708
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Order Information: Postal: Dpto. de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico II, = Facultad de CC. Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad del País Vasco, Avda. Lehendakari Aguirre 83, 48015 Bilbao, Spain
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  1. Maya Bar-Hillel & David Budescu & Yigal Attali, 2005. "Scoring and keying multiple choice tests: A case study in irrationality," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 4(1), pages 3-12, 06.
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