Test construction for cognitive diagnosis

Robert Henson, Jeff Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although cognitive diagnostic models (CDMs) can be useful in the analysis and interpretation of existing tests, little has been developed to specify how one might construct a good test using aspects of the CDMs. This article discusses the derivation of a general COM index based on Kullback-Leibler information that will serve as a measure of how informative an item is for the classification of examinees. The effectiveness of the index is examined for items calibrated using the deterministic input noisy "and" gate model (DINA) and the reparameterized unified model (RUM) by implementing a simple heuristic to construct a test from an item bank. When compared to randomly constructed tests from the same item bank, the heuristic shows significant improvement in classification rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-277
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Psychological Measurement
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Cognitive diagnosis
  • Cognitive diagnostic index
  • Kullback-Leibler information
  • Test construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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