Published On: 25/01/2006|Categories: 2003–2007, Vol.27 (1), Vol.27 (2006)|

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This study assessed the hypothesis that the response time to an item increases as the positions of the item and the respondent on the continuum of the trait that is measured draw closer together. This hypothesis has previously been stated by several authors, but so far it does not seem to have been empirically assessed in a rigorous way. A computerized version of a 22-item two-scale personality questionnaire was administered to a sample of 286 respondents. The item responses were fitted using the two-parameter IRT model and a person-item distance measure was derived. Productmoment correlations between the log-response times and the person-item distances were obtained over respondents within each item. In both scales all the correlations were negative, as expected from the theory. However, most of the correlations (effect sizes) were small. The potential usefulness of the results for personality measurement is discussed.

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