Wow!  Fantastic post, Andrew.<div>Mark<br><br><div class="gmail_quote">On Wed, May 2, 2012 at 6:30 PM, Andrew Kyngdon <span dir="ltr">&lt;<a href="mailto:akyngdon@lexile.com" target="_blank">akyngdon@lexile.com</a>&gt;</span> wrote:<br>
<blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="margin:0 0 0 .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex">
<div lang="EN-AU" link="blue" vlink="purple"><div><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">Dear Anthony,</span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">You say:</span></p>
<div class="im">
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">I looked at some journals but couldn’t ‘detect’ a specific line of research which one can say that psychometricians are following now.</span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p></div><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">I doubt that there has ever existed any coherent line of research in psychometrics, if by “line of research” it is meant a program of sustained research into the psychology of individual differences in test performance which has resulted in a steady accumulation of knowledge of such differences.</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">Have a look at the website for “Psychometrika”, the flagship journal of psychometrics. In 2010, the most viewed paper online was Cronbach’s original 1951 paper on “alpha”. In 2006 it was the same. When I looked on Tuesday (1<sup>st</sup> May), it was the most viewed paper in the previous 90 days. Rather amusingly, the second most viewed paper was Sijtsma’s (2009) paper titled “On the use, the misuse and very limited usefulness of Cronbach’s alpha”.</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">Has there been nothing truly new and groundbreaking in psychometrics in over 60 years? Is Cronbach’s alpha the single most important and consequential idea that psychometricians have devised in all this time? It would appear so.</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">Contrast this with the study of decision making under conditions of risk and uncertainty of the past 60 years. The most cited article of all time for “Econometrica” is Kahneman &amp; Tversky’s (1979) paper on “prospect theory”, which founded the field of behavioural economics. The most viewed paper online for “Journal of Risk and Uncertainty” is Tversky &amp; Kahneman’s (1992) paper on “cumulative prospect theory”, which is prospect theory with the incorporation of the rank dependent functional proposed by the Australian economist John Quiggin (1982).</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">Sixty years ago we thought that people were all strictly rational utility maximisers (i.e., all choice behaviour conformed to the von Neumann &amp; Morgenstern (1944) axioms) who are always risk averse and aware of how their choices affect their total asset position. Today we know why:</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p><p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">people prefer sure consequences (gifts) over gambles which have a high probability of winning a larger amount of money than the gift (Allais, 1953);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">people do not tend to consider their total asset position when making a risky choice (such as when purchasing a lottery ticket);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">people counterintuively seek risk when faced with certain losses (Tversky &amp; Kahneman, 1981);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">people’s choice behaviour is highly sensitive to the way a choice is framed and presented to the decision maker (Tversky &amp; Kahneman, 1981);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">people buy lottery tickets, play poker machines AND purchase insurance; and why strictly rational choice fails to explain this (Tversky &amp; Kahneman, 1992);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">loss aversion causes the equity premium paradox (Bernatzi &amp; Thaler, 1995);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">loss aversion causes the status quo bias (Williamson &amp; Zeckhauser, 1988);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">there is a lower rate of tax evasion than is predicted by strictly rational utility maximisation (Bernasconi, 1998);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">stock market levels move around too much (the “volatility puzzle”) and the predictability of price to earnings ratios (Barberis, Huang &amp; Santos, 2001);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">choices between insurance policies is not strictly rational (Johnson, Hershy, Meszaros &amp; Kunreuther, 1993); and why people purchase more insurance than what they actually need (Segal &amp; Spivak, 1990);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">people are highly averse to “probabilistic insurance” (Wakker, Thaler &amp; Tversky, 1997);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">the behaviour of options traders is not strictly rational when the probabilities of returns are not fully known (Fox, Rogers &amp; Tversky, 1996);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">some investors choose portfolios that lie underneath the Sharpe – Linter Capital Market Line (i.e., choose portfolios of stocks stochastically dominated by others) (Levy, 2008);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">investors tend to hold onto their losing stocks to a greater extent than their winning stocks (Shefrin &amp; Statman, 1985);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">people’s willingness to bet on an uncertain event depends not only upon the uncertainty, but upon the source of the uncertainty (the Ellsberg (1961) Paradox);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">political leaders take risks to maintain their international reputations and domestic support (Levy, 1997);</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">political leaders, when they have suffered losses (e.g., domestic support, territory) take excessive risks to recover such losses rather than wear them (Levy, 1997); and even why</span></p>

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol;color:#1f497d"><span>·<span style="font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;">        </span></span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">Jimmy Carter chose to use military force in the Iranian Hostage Crisis of April, 1980 (McDermott, 1994).</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">A plausible account for all of the above is given by either prospect theory or cumulative prospect theory. Can we point to anything like this situation in psychometrics? Do we really know anything substantial about individual differences in mathematics ability, for example, than we didn’t know 60 years ago? </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">I doubt it.</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d">Andrew</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;color:#1f497d"> </span></p><div><div style="border:none;border-top:solid #b5c4df 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 0cm 0cm 0cm">
<p class="MsoNormal">
<b><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Tahoma&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">From:</span></b><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Tahoma&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;"> <a href="mailto:rasch-bounces@acer.edu.au" target="_blank">rasch-bounces@acer.edu.au</a> [mailto:<a href="mailto:rasch-bounces@acer.edu.au" target="_blank">rasch-bounces@acer.edu.au</a>] <b>On Behalf Of </b>Anthony James<br>

<b>Sent:</b> Wednesday, 2 May 2012 3:45 PM<br><b>To:</b> <a href="mailto:Rasch@acer.edu.au" target="_blank">Rasch@acer.edu.au</a><br><b>Subject:</b> [Rasch] current issues of research in psychometrics?</span></p></div></div>
<div><div class="h5"><p class="MsoNormal">
 </p><div><div><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">Dear all,</span><span style></span></p></div><div style="margin-bottom:10.0pt">
<p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">A colleague of mine asked me “What are the current issues of research in psychometrics these days?”</span><span style></span></p>

</div><div style="margin-bottom:10.0pt"><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">I looked at some journals but couldn’t ‘detect’ a specific line of research which one can say that psychometricians are following now.</span><span style></span></p>

</div><div style="margin-bottom:10.0pt"><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">Does really such a line(or a number of lines) exist?</span><span style></span></p>

</div><div style="margin-bottom:10.0pt"><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">Cheers</span><span style></span></p></div>
<div style="margin-bottom:10.0pt"><p class="MsoNormal" style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">Anthony</span><span style></span></p></div></div>
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