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The Point-Biserial as a Discrimination Index for Distractors in Multiple-Choice Items: Deficiencies in Usage and an Alternative

Yigal Attali and Tamar Fraenkel
Journal of Educational Measurement
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Spring, 2000), pp. 77-86
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1435063
Page Count: 10
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The Point-Biserial as a Discrimination Index for Distractors in Multiple-Choice Items: Deficiencies in Usage and an Alternative
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Abstract

We show that using the point-biserial as a discrimination index for distractors by differentiating between examinees who chose the distractor and examinees who did not choose the distractor is theoretically wrong and may lead to an incorrect rejection of items. We propose an alternative usage and present empirical evidence for its suitability.

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