Preferred Name


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

ORCID 0000-0002-6322-5018

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


John Hathcoat


Different levels of examinee motivation pose a validity threat to the interpretation of test scores. This problem is heightened in low-stakes, remote testing environments. Though some ways exist to gauge average motivation throughout testing, less ways exist to gauge motivation fluctuations throughout a single test. One of those ways is through response times. Specifically, rapid response behavior occurs when examinees quickly answer an item without reading or engaging with the item. At James Madison University (JMU), students participating in campus-wide Assessment Days typically experienced an in-person, proctored Assessment Day. However, that changed during the pandemic. During the pandemic, examinees participated in Assessment Day remotely and unproctored. This study investigated the changes in the type and quantity of rapid response behavior in examinees from before the pandemic to during the pandemic using latent class analysis. Examinees were categorized by their patterns of solution behavior indices, which capture whether or not an examinee used rapid response behavior on an item. The study indicated three types of patterns based on solution behavior indices: higher engagement (low rapid response behavior), partial engagement (moderate rapid response behavior), and low engagement. Examinee self-reported motivation, performance on the test (total score), and gender were used as validity evidence for the classification of examinees. Finally, administration time point (either pre-pandemic or during the pandemic) was related to class membership. Testing during the pandemic seemed to be characterized by a strong increase in rapid response behavior and thus low motivation compared to testing pre-pandemic.

Available for download on Tuesday, April 25, 2023