Same Test, Better Scores: Boosting the Reliability of Short Online Intelligence Recruitment Tests with Nested Logit Item Response Theory Models

J Intell. 2019 Jul 10;7(3):17. doi: 10.3390/jintelligence7030017.


Assessing job applicants' general mental ability online poses psychometric challenges due to the necessity of having brief but accurate tests. Recent research (Myszkowski & Storme, 2018) suggests that recovering distractor information through Nested Logit Models (NLM; Suh & Bolt, 2010) increases the reliability of ability estimates in reasoning matrix-type tests. In the present research, we extended this result to a different context (online intelligence testing for recruitment) and in a larger sample ( N = 2949 job applicants). We found that the NLMs outperformed the Nominal Response Model (Bock, 1970) and provided significant reliability gains compared with their binary logistic counterparts. In line with previous research, the gain in reliability was especially obtained at low ability levels. Implications and practical recommendations are discussed.

Keywords: E-assessment; ability-based guessing; general mental ability; item-response theory; nested logit models.