Title

A call for, and beginner's guide to, measurement invariance testing in evolutionary psychology

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-13-2017

Publication Title

Evolutionary Psychological Science

Volume

4

Issue

2

First page number:

166

Last page number:

178

Abstract

Measurement invariance is a statistical property of an instrument (e.g., a test or questionnaire) indicating that it measures the same construct(s) in the same way across subgroups of respondents. Given the extensive research in evolutionary psychology devoted to sex differences and cross-cultural comparisons, measurement invariance testing is crucial not only because it protects against erroneous inference, but also because it provides nuanced information about group similarities and differences. In this article, we draw attention to the importance of, and present a beginner’s guide to, measurement invariance testing. We define measurement invariance formally, summarize sources of non-invariance and the rationale for measurement invariance testing, and describe the two frameworks typically used to test for invariance. We then review evidence of a relative lack of measurement invariance testing in evolutionary psychology and conclude with a case example with MPlus syntax. By testing for measurement invariance, researchers studying evolutionary psychology can strengthen their field and enhance the popularity of their constructs in other disciplines.

Keywords

Measurement invariance, Differential item function, Multiple groups confirmatory factor analysis, Item response theory, Evolutionary psychology

Language

eng

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