Modeling self-determination theory motivation data by using unfolding IRT

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Self-determination theory (SDT) suggests that the degree of autonomous behavior regulation is a characteristic of distinct motivation types which thus can be ordered on the so-called Autonomy-Control Continuum (ACC). The present study employs an item response theory (IRT) model under the ideal point response/unfolding paradigm in order to model the response process to SDT motivation items in theoretical accordance with the ACC. Using data from two independent student samples (measuring SDT motivation for the academic subjects of Mathematics and German as a native language), it was found that an unfolding model exhibited a relatively better fit compared to a dominance model. The item location parameters under the unfolding paradigm showed clusters of items representing the different regulation types on the ACC to be (almost perfectly) empirically separable, as suggested by SDT. Besides theoretical implications, perspectives for the application of ideal point response/unfolding models in the development of measures for non-cognitive constructs are addressed.
ZeitschriftEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Seiten (von - bis)388-396
Anzahl der Seiten9
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 09.2021