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Measurement Beyond Classical Test Theory

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The Matilda Bay Club: Rasch Measurement in the Social Sciences Discussion Group

Measurement in the Social Sciences

The measurement and operationalization of latent constructs in quantitative social sciences is such an everyday practice that we hardly ever reflect the rationale all our operationalization and measurement efforts are based upon. The classical test theory (true score models, congeneric measurement) has become the predominant and, in fact, the almost totally unrivalled paradigm of measurement in many fields of research within the social sciences.

MBC: Measurement Beyond Classical Test Theory

Within a broad group of models often referred to as Item Response Theory or Latent Trait Theory, the family of Rasch Models stands out insofar as Rasch Models aim at providing a foundation of measurement that parallels measurement in the physical sciences as far as possible rather than merely describing data and accounting for idiosyncrasies in a specific data set.

The Matilda Bay Club (MBC)

The Matilda Bay Club aims at contributing to the diffusion of Rasch Measurement Theory and Models in the social sciences. In contrast to public e-mail lists like rasch@acer.edu.au (for subscription info see Links), the MBC provides a (more or less) private forum for discussion. The discussion is not limited to any specific "level". Sometimes those questions that look basic at first turn out to be the most fundamental ones in the end. There is also no restriction whatsoever in terms of the field of application (health care, medicine, marketing research, etc). The common link is the need for sound measurement based on the principles of Rasch Measurement.
The MBC is to facilitate mutual exchange among members. It intends to stimulate discussions of all sorts of problems arising from Rasch Measurement including software related questions (in particular using RUMM 2020). More on RUMM can be found on RUMM's website.

Access to The Matilda Bay Club

To avoid unsolicited mails and to maintain the private character, the discussion group is open to members only (see the list of Members). However, new members are invited to join the club (see Contact). If members hold workshops or courses, feel free to send a list of the participants' email addresses to the administrator to include them as extraordinary members.

Some Guidlines

If you want to provide larger files (data, documents, papers) to all Club members, please send them to the administrator first rather than to all Club members. The documents will be made available via the internet under Downloads & References. If appropriate, a password protected area could be established easily. Recommended literature will also be listed under references.

A Note by Ben Wright

As long as primitive counts and raw scores are routinely mistaken for measures by our colleagues in Social, Educational and Health research,
there is no hope of their professional activities ever developing into a reliable or useful science.

We owe it to them, and to ourselves, to teach them how to construct measures
which work as well as the ubiquitous physical measures by which they manage their everyday living,
so that they can do a better job in making sense out of the profusions of data
which they collect so enthusiastically.

Ben Wright

Date:Sun, 07 Nov 1999 15:16:48 -0600 (CST)
From:Ben Wright To:rasch@acer.edu.au

A Note on the History of the Matilda Bay Club

The Matilda Bay Club was founded in January 2002 in Perth by Rasch researchers from all over the world attending courses and workshops at Murdoch University organised by David Andrich. The homepage of the Matilda Bay Club is maintained at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and administered by Thomas Salzberger. The Club also replaces the former Forum of Rasch Measurement in Marketing.

The name of the club, by the way, is inspired by a wonderful bay of the Swan River near the City of Perth, called The Matilda Bay, and in particular by The Matilda Bay Restaurant, the venue of many official closing dinners. Finally, enjoy the view over the bay (photo taken and provided by Alan Tennant).


The Matilda Bay Club - Rasch Measurement in the Social Sciences Discussion Group - rasch@wu-wien.ac.at