This study investigates the relationships among factor correlations, inter-item correlations, and the reliability estimates of subscores, providing a guideline with respect to psychometric properties of useful subscores. In addition, it compares subscore estimation methods with respect to reliability and distinctness. The subscore estimation methods explored in the current study include augmentation based on classical test theory and multidimensional item response theory (MIRT). The study shows that there is no estimation method that is optimal according to both criteria. Augmented subscores show the most improvement in reliability compared to observed subscores but are the least distinct.
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