"Philosophy of science without history of science is empty; history of science without philosophy of science is blind." (I. Lakatos, 1971, p. 91).
Should the history and philosophy of social science measurement be separate activities? History is about change over time. The historian's task is to tell a coherent story about a sequence of events. One standard view is that it is not the task of the historian to propose and examine an explanatory framework for these events.
A chief activity of philosophers is to investigate and contribute to our knowledge of how science ought to be conducted. Consequently, they usually view the sequence of past events in terms of progress. This implies an explanatory framework for examining these events with the central task of historical research being that of not only recording but also explaining progress.
Laudan (1977, 1990) and others argue against the separation of the history and philosophy of science. The gap between dealing with "facts" (historical component) and "values" (philosophical component) is artificial and does not reflect how science is actually conducted.
What are the implications of this for the history of measurement? Clearly, the history of measurement must include a description of what actually happened. This historical component should be sensitive to as many of the issues raised by Sokal (1984) as possible. It should also be true to the historical record. Although this seems obvious, there are philosophers of science, including Lakatos, who have argued for imaginary treatments of the reconstruction of historical events in science.
I believe that the history of measurement should include a view of what measurement ought to be. There may be debate about the inclusion of a philosophical component. But scientific activities cannot be "value-free". Whether or not we make it clear, the philosophy of measurement that underlies our historical work still exists. It is better to make these views explicit than to leave them unstated and unexamined. Philosophic beliefs about measurement will influence the selection and interpretation of historical events. Although a variety of measurement theories may inform the history of measurement, Rasch measurement, with its explicit foundation in a philosophy of measurement, suggests itself as a promising framework.
I view the history of psychological measurement as a history of ideas about the quantification of individual differences in human characteristics. I am trying to develop a history of measurement which combines a description of the major measurement theories that have been proposed with consideration of what measurement ought to be.
The history and philosophy of measurement are not independent. As we tell of the development of measurement theories and practices, it is important to move beyond the recitation of "facts" to address the evaluative and normative issues regarding progress within the field. Inherent in the concept of progress are judgments about what constitutes "good" measurement theory and practice. In my next column, I will address the concept of a research tradition, and how it can structure our thinking about progress in measurement theory.
Lakatos, I. (1971). History of science and its rational reconstructions. In R. Buck & R. Cohen (Eds.), Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 8, 91.
Laudan, L. (1977). Progress and its problems: Towards a theory of scientific growth. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Laudan, L. (1990). The history of science and the philosophy of science. In R. C. Olby, et al. (Eds.), Companion to the history of modern science (pp. 47-59), London: Routledge.
Sokal, M. M. (1984). Approaches to the history of psychological testing. History of Education Quarterly, Fall, 419-430.
History and Philosophy of Measurement, G Engelhard Jr Rasch Measurement Transactions, 1990, 4:3 p. 118
Please help with Standard Dataset 4: Andrich Rating Scale Model
|Rasch Measurement Transactions (free, online)||Rasch Measurement research papers (free, online)||Probabilistic Models for Some Intelligence and Attainment Tests, Georg Rasch||Applying the Rasch Model 3rd. Ed., Bond & Fox||Best Test Design, Wright & Stone|
|Rating Scale Analysis, Wright & Masters||Introduction to Rasch Measurement, E. Smith & R. Smith||Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement, Thomas Eckes||Invariant Measurement: Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, George Engelhard, Jr.||Statistical Analyses for Language Testers, Rita Green|
|Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments, and Applications, Fischer & Molenaar||Journal of Applied Measurement||Rasch models for measurement, David Andrich||Constructing Measures, Mark Wilson||Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences, Boone, Stave, Yale|
|in Spanish:||Análisis de Rasch para todos, Agustín Tristán||Mediciones, Posicionamientos y Diagnósticos Competitivos, Juan Ramón Oreja Rodríguez|
|Forum||Rasch Measurement Forum to discuss any Rasch-related topic|
Go to Top of Page
Go to index of all Rasch Measurement Transactions
AERA members: Join the Rasch Measurement SIG and receive the printed version of RMT
Some back issues of RMT are available as bound volumes
Subscribe to Journal of Applied Measurement
Go to Institute for Objective Measurement Home Page. The Rasch Measurement SIG (AERA) thanks the Institute for Objective Measurement for inviting the publication of Rasch Measurement Transactions on the Institute's website, www.rasch.org.
|Coming Rasch-related Events|
|May 26 - June 23, 2017, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|June 30 - July 29, 2017, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Further Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|July 31 - Aug. 3, 2017, Mon.-Thurs.||Joint IMEKO TC1-TC7-TC13 Symposium 2017: Measurement Science challenges in Natural and Social Sciences, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, imeko-tc7-rio.org.br|
|Aug. 7-9, 2017, Mon-Wed.||In-person workshop and research coloquium: Effect size of family and school indexes in writing competence using TERCE data (C. Pardo, A. Atorressi, Winsteps), Bariloche Argentina. Carlos Pardo, Universidad Catòlica de Colombia|
|Aug. 7-9, 2017, Mon-Wed.||PROMS 2017: Pacific Rim Objective Measurement Symposium, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia, proms.promsociety.org/2017/|
|Aug. 10, 2017, Thurs.||In-person Winsteps Training Workshop (M. Linacre, Winsteps), Sydney, Australia. www.winsteps.com/sydneyws.htm|
|Aug. 11 - Sept. 8, 2017, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com|
|Aug. 18-21, 2017, Fri.-Mon.||IACAT 2017: International Association for Computerized Adaptive Testing, Niigata, Japan, iacat.org|
|Sept. 15-16, 2017, Fri.-Sat.||IOMC 2017: International Outcome Measurement Conference, Chicago, jampress.org/iomc2017.htm|
|Oct. 13 - Nov. 10, 2017, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|Jan. 5 - Feb. 2, 2018, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|Jan. 10-16, 2018, Wed.-Tues.||In-person workshop: Advanced Course in Rasch Measurement Theory and the application of RUMM2030, Perth, Australia (D. Andrich), Announcement|
|Jan. 17-19, 2018, Wed.-Fri.||Rasch Conference: Seventh International Conference on Probabilistic Models for Measurement, Matilda Bay Club, Perth, Australia, Website|
|April 13-17, 2018, Fri.-Tues.||AERA, New York, NY, www.aera.net|
|May 25 - June 22, 2018, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|June 29 - July 27, 2018, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Further Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|Aug. 10 - Sept. 7, 2018, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com|
|Oct. 12 - Nov. 9, 2018, Fri.-Fri.||On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com|
|The HTML to add "Coming Rasch-related Events" to your webpage is:|
The URL of this page is www.rasch.org/rmt/rmt43j.htm