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Volume 19 Number 3, Autumn 2022, Pages 740-1140   

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Exploring the Role of Emotioncy in Reading Comprehension Test Bias

    Elahe Moradi, Zargham Ghabanchi & Reza Pishghadam

Given the significance of psychological factors in forming biases, this study intends to introduce emotioncy, emotions evoked by senses, as a potential source of reading comprehension test bias. To this end, 514 English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners were asked to take a 30-item multiple-choice reading comprehension test along with the emotioncy scale. Based on the emotioncy scores, participants were classified into two groups of Low and High-emotioncy. Subsequently, Rasch model-based Differential Item and Test Functioning (DIF/DTF) analyses were employed across the two target groups. The results showed that the reading comprehension test functioned differentially both at the level of the individual items and the whole test as a set of items, favoring the examinees with higher levels of emotioncy. Thus, the study provides evidence for emotioncy as a potential psychological source of reading comprehension test bias and discusses implications for educators and test developers.

Keywords: Differential Item Functioning, Differential Test Functioning, emotioncy, reading comprehension test, test bias