Cross-cultural comparability of noncognitive constructs in TIMSS and PISA

Jia He*, Fabián Barrera-Pedemonte, Janine Buchholz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Noncognitive assessments in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study share certain similarities and provide complementary information, yet their comparability is seldom checked and convergence not sought. We made use of student self-report data of Instrumental Motivation, Enjoyment of Science and Sense of Belonging to School targeted in both surveys in 29 overlapping countries to (1) demonstrate levels of measurement comparability, (2) check convergence of different scaling methods within survey and (3) check convergence of these constructs with student achievement across surveys. We found that the three scales in either survey (except Sense of Belonging to School in PISA) reached at least metric invariance. The scale scores from the multigroup confirmatory factor analysis and the item response theory analysis were highly correlated, pointing to robustness of scaling methods. The correlations between each construct and achievement was generally positive within each culture in each survey, and the correlational pattern was similar across surveys (except for Sense of Belonging), indicating certain convergence in the cross-survey validation. We stress the importance of checking measurement invariance before making comparative inferences, and we discuss implications on the quality and relevance of these constructs in understating learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-385
Number of pages17
JournalAssessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • PISA
  • cross-survey validation
  • measurement invariance


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