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Factor score estimation in multimethod measurement designs with planned missing data.
Psychological Methods  (IF10.929),  Pub Date : 2022-04-14, DOI: 10.1037/met0000483
Mario Lawes, Michael Eid

Multimethod measurement designs with planned missing data (MMM-PMD) aim at combining cheap proxy methods (e.g., self-reports) with an expensive gold standard method (e.g., biomarker) in order to improve the cost-efficiency of research designs. This article presents a comprehensive simulation study investigating whether accurate factor scores with trustworthy confidence or credible intervals for the gold standard method can be obtained in MMM-PMD designs. The results indicate that the Bartlett-FIML, regression-FIML, and fully Bayesian estimator perform equally well in terms of recovering the true rank-order and absolute level of the factor scores for subjects with complete data. However, for subjects with planned missing data the estimated factor scores are considerably biased and cannot be computed with the Bartlett-FIML estimator. The confidence or credible intervals for the estimated factor scores are trustworthy for complete cases. For subjects with planned missing data, the coverage rates vary considerably across conditions. Thus, the present study illustrates that individual scores from MMM-PMD designs should not be used for consequential individual decisions. Still, factor scores from MMM-PMD designs might be useful when used for secondary analyses that rely on group-level statistics like computing propensity scores for matching purposes or for factor score regression. The simulation results underline that multiple reliable proxy methods that are highly correlated with the gold standard method but are not highly correlated with each other should be administered to maximize the accuracy of the estimated factor scores as well as the trustworthiness of the corresponding confidence or credible intervals.