Proximity of Items Does Not Necessarily Affect Their Correlation : Two Failed Replications of Item Proximity Effect
|Year of publication
|Article in Periodical
|Magazine / Source
|European Journal of Psychological Assessment
|MU Faculty or unit
|item proximity effect; item order; item distance; replication
|In this paper, we attempted to detect the effect of provided answers on those that succeed them, the “item proximity effect,” within a questionnaire with randomized item order for each respondent. In two studies, we administered personality inventories to two samples of mostly undergraduate students, consisting of 742 and 205 respondents, respectively. We expected to see a strong item proximity effect that quickly diminishes with higher item distances, but we found no evidence of such effect in the data. Thus, we failed to conceptually replicate the findings of previous studies. After discussing the probable causes for these discrepancies, we argue that a general item proximity effect does not need to be considered a major factor when employing and evaluating common psychological inventories with randomized item order for research purposes.