The Partial Credit Model and the One-Item Rating Scale Model

At least one aspect of Rasch measurement continues to perplex analysts and paper reviewers. Are Masters' Partial Credit Model and Andrich's Rating Scale Model variants of the same polytomous model or different models?

The Andrich (1978) Rating Scale Model conceptualizes all items on an instrument to share the same m+1 ordered-category rating scale:

with the usual parameterization, where x=0,m and F0=0 or any convenient constant, also = 0.

The Masters' (1982) Partial Credit Model conceptualizes each item to exhibit a unique rating scale structure of mi+1 ordered categories.:

where x=0,mi and Fi0=0 or any convenient constant.

In many survey instruments, subsets of items share rating scales, some items have unique rating scales, and some items are dichotomies. The generalization of the Andrich Rating Scale Model to groups of items encompasses all these:

where g indicates the group of items (sharing the same rating scale structure) to which item i belongs.

But what if every group contains only one item? Then g has the same meaning as i, and this model becomes:

Now it appears that there are two different Rasch models for the identical situation: the "Partial Credit" and the "One-Item Rating Scale". What is the relationship between them? Let us take the Partial Credit model and reparameterize Dik as bi + τik where


Therefore, which is the same constraint as in the one-item rating scale model.

Thus, the difference between the two models is reduces to parameterization. The "Partial Credit" Dik is identical to the "one-item Rating Scale" Di + Fik as constrained by


Consequences of this equivalence include the definition of an overall "item difficulty" for a Partial Credit item as Di, and also any theoretical properties or practical implications obtained for one model can be carried directly over to the other.

Di has a convenient interpretation: it is the location (i.e., person measure) on the latent variable at which the highest and lowest category are equally probable. To confirm this, let Bn be the ability of person n with equal probability of being observed in the lowest and highest categories of item i of difficulty Di:

Thus item difficulty for Andrich's Rating Scale model and Masters' Partial Credit model can have the same definition. The models are equivalent.

John Michael Linacre

Andrich D. (1978) A rating scale formulation for ordered response categories. Psychometrika, 43, 561-573.

Masters G.N. (1982) A Rasch model for partial credit scoring. Psychometrika, 47, 149-174.

The Partial Credit Model and the One-Item Rating Scale Model, Linacre J.M. … Rasch Measurement Transactions, 2005, 19:1 p. 1000-1002

Rasch-Related Resources: Rasch Measurement YouTube Channel
Rasch Measurement Transactions & Rasch Measurement research papers - free An Introduction to the Rasch Model with Examples in R (eRm, etc.), Debelak, Strobl, Zeigenfuse Rasch Measurement Theory Analysis in R, Wind, Hua Applying the Rasch Model in Social Sciences Using R, Lamprianou El modelo métrico de Rasch: Fundamentación, implementación e interpretación de la medida en ciencias sociales (Spanish Edition), Manuel González-Montesinos M.
Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments, and Applications, Fischer & Molenaar Probabilistic Models for Some Intelligence and Attainment Tests, Georg Rasch Rasch Models for Measurement, David Andrich Constructing Measures, Mark Wilson Best Test Design - free, Wright & Stone
Rating Scale Analysis - free, Wright & Masters
Virtual Standard Setting: Setting Cut Scores, Charalambos Kollias Diseño de Mejores Pruebas - free, Spanish Best Test Design A Course in Rasch Measurement Theory, Andrich, Marais Rasch Models in Health, Christensen, Kreiner, Mesba Multivariate and Mixture Distribution Rasch Models, von Davier, Carstensen
Rasch Books and Publications: Winsteps and Facets
Applying the Rasch Model (Winsteps, Facets) 4th Ed., Bond, Yan, Heene Advances in Rasch Analyses in the Human Sciences (Winsteps, Facets) 1st Ed., Boone, Staver Advances in Applications of Rasch Measurement in Science Education, X. Liu & W. J. Boone Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences (Winsteps) Boone, Staver, Yale Appliquer le modèle de Rasch: Défis et pistes de solution (Winsteps) E. Dionne, S. Béland
Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (Facets), Thomas Eckes Rasch Models for Solving Measurement Problems (Facets), George Engelhard, Jr. & Jue Wang Statistical Analyses for Language Testers (Facets), Rita Green Invariant Measurement with Raters and Rating Scales: Rasch Models for Rater-Mediated Assessments (Facets), George Engelhard, Jr. & Stefanie Wind Aplicação do Modelo de Rasch (Português), de Bond, Trevor G., Fox, Christine M
Exploring Rating Scale Functioning for Survey Research (R, Facets), Stefanie Wind Rasch Measurement: Applications, Khine Winsteps Tutorials - free
Facets Tutorials - free
Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (Facets) - free, J.M. Linacre Fairness, Justice and Language Assessment (Winsteps, Facets), McNamara, Knoch, Fan

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