Using item analysis to facilitate interpretation of empirical findings

Kenneth J. Ruggiero*, Jeffrey L. Goodie, Tracy L. Morris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Researchers often present and interpret empirical findings with reference to hypothetical constructs and diagnostic labels. Such interpretations commonly are based upon 'summary' scores obtained through interview, self-report, or rating-scale assessment instruments. Although there are advantages associated with communicating empirical findings through analysis with summary scores, there also are weaknesses that may limit the interpretability of empirical findings and impede theory development. We discuss the importance of item analysis as a tool that may guide presentation of empirical findings, and we describe how it may be used to minimize these limitations of assessment, facilitate data interpretation, and increase the opportunity for theoretical advances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes


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