Musiphron's Rating of Poets

In 1746, Musiphron (Gk. "Thinker about poets") rated 20 poets on 8 aspects of poetic performance together with a 9th overall rating. His ratings are shown below. He used a 20 category rating scale, which seems to have been typical at the time. 20 corresponded to god-level performance. 19 corresponded to the highest possible human performance, which has yet to be observed. So the operational range of the scale is 1-18. The poets are listed in the order of their measures when the same rating scale structure is applied to all 9 items. We see that Shakespeare has the worst fit, i.e., the most uneven performance across items.

Musiphron's use of rating scale categories, however, is idiosyncratic. To the upper right is shown the frequency of category use by item. A recoding of categories into 4 levels is also suggested. With Musiphron's original use of 10 different categories, the person separation reliability was .63. Reduced to just 4 category levels, it is almost the same at .61! Poets whose rank order changes by more than 2 positions are flagged with "-" and "+" in the Table.

Among the items, Final Estimate has the smallest mean-square, 0.32, in the original analysis, indicating that it contributes less than one-third of an item's worth of new information.

Ratings of Poets, Musiphron (Robert Dodsley?)

The Museum, 19, p.165-169, 1746

Items:
1. Critical Disposition (Ordonnance)
2. Emotional Disposition (Pathetic Ordonnance)
3. Dramatic Expression
4. Incidental Expression
5. Taste
6. Coloring
7. Versification
8. Moral
9. Final Estimate

Ratings INFIT With 4
POET 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 MEASURE MNSQ Levels
Homer 18 17 18 15 16 16 18 17 18 1.37 1.54 1
Milton 17 15 15 17 18 18 17 18 17 1.26 .90 1
Virgil 17 16 10 17 18 17 17 17 16 .77 1.51 4
Molière 15 17 17 17 15 16 16 14 .68 .48 5
Cervantes 17 17 15 17 12 16 16 14 .56 .82 6
Sophocles 18 16 15 15 16 14 16 13 .52 .55 9-
Pope 16 17 12 17 16 15 15 17 13 .50 .34 7
Shakespeare 0 18 18 18 10 17 10 18 18 .47 4.15 3+
Corneille 15 16 16 16 16 14 12 16 14 .41 .58 14-
Racine 17 16 15 15 17 13 12 15 13 .36 .73 11
Boileau 18 16 12 14 17 14 13 16 12 .34 .67 12
Euripides 15 16 14 17 13 14 15 12 .31 .35 16-
Spencer 8 15 10 16 17 17 17 17 14 .31 1.51 7+
Horace 12 12 10 16 17 17 16 14 13 .23 .55 14
Pindar 10 10 17 17 16 17 13 .20 1.25 10+
Tasso 17 14 14 13 12 13 16 13 12 .16 .74 20-
Terence 18 12 10 12 17 14 16 10 .14 1.03 13+
Dante 12 15 8 17 12 15 14 14 13 .09 .45 18
Ariosto 0 15 10 15 14 15 16 10 13 .05 .71 18
Lucretius 14 5 17 17 14 16 0 10 -.03 1.91 17+

Ratings of 0 have been regarded as misprints for 10.

The most aberrant item was "1. Critical Disposition". The 18 given to Terence on this item was ignored when Musiphron gave Terence the very low Final Estimate of 10.

Already in 1746 the hazards associated with using raters and rating scales are evident.

Category Item Rating Count
Label 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Level
5 1 1
6
7
8 1 1 1
9
10 3 1 5 1 1 2 2 1
11
12 2 2 2 1 3 2 3 1
13 1 1 2 1 1 7 1
14 1 1 2 1 1 6 1 2 4 1
15 3 4 4 4 1 3 1 2 2
16 1 6 1 3 4 4 4 6 1 2
17 5 4 1 9 7 4 3 5 1 3
18 4 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 2 4

Musiphron's Rating of Poets Dodsley R. … Rasch Measurement Transactions, 1999, 13:2 p. 694


Please help with Standard Dataset 4: Andrich Rating Scale Model



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