Response Styles in the Partial Credit Model
In the modelling of ordinal responses in psychological measurement and survey-
based research, response styles that represent specific answering patterns of respondents are typically ignored. One consequence is that estimates of item parameters can be poor and considerably biased. The focus here is on the modelling of a tendency to extreme or middle categories. An extension of the Partial Credit Model is proposed that explicitly accounts for this specific response style. In contrast to existing approaches, which are based on finite mixtures, explicit person-specific response style parameters are introduced. The resulting model can be estimated within the framework of generalized mixed linear models. It is shown that estimates can be seriously biased if the response style is ignored. In applications it is demonstrated that a tendency to extreme or middle categories is not uncommon. A software tool is developed that makes the model easy to apply.