Bayesian methods in psychological research: the case of IRT.

Jorge González Burgos


Bayesian methods have become increasingly popular in social sciences due to its flexibility in accommodating numerous models from different fields. The domain of item response theory is a good example of fruitful research, incorporating in the lasts years new developments and models, which are being estimated using the Bayesian approach. This is partly because of the availability of free software such as WinBUGS and R, which has permitted researchers to explore new possibilities. In this paper we outline the Bayesian inference for some IRT models. It is briefly explained how the Bayesian method works. The implementation of Bayesian estimation in conventional software is discussed and sets of codes for running the analyses are provided. All the applications are exemplified using simulated and real data sets.


Item response theory models; Bayesian Inference; WinBUGS

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