This unique text provides a step-by-step beginner’s guide to applying the Rasch model in R, a probabilistic model used by researchers across the social sciences to measure unobservable ("latent") variables. Each chapter is devoted to one popular Rasch model, ranging from the least to the most complex.
Through a freely available and user-friendly package, BlueSky Statistics, Lamprianou offers a range of options for presenting results, critically examines the strengths and weaknesses of applying the Rasch model in each instance, and suggests more effective methodologies where applicable. With a focus on simple software code which does not assume extensive mathematical knowledge, the reader is initially introduced to the so-called simple Rasch Model to construct a "political activism" variable out of a group of dichotomously scored questions. In subsequent chapters, the book covers everything from the Rating Scale to the Many-facets Rasch model. The final chapter even showcases a complete mock manuscript, demonstrating how a Rasch-based paper on the identification of online hate speech should look like.
Combining theoretical rigor and real-world examples with empirical datasets from published papers, this book is essential reading for students and researchers alike who aspire to use Rasch models in their research.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. "Have you Assaulted a Politician?" Measuring Political Engagement Using the Simple Rasch Model
Chapter 3. Expectations and Residuals
Chapter 4. "All We Need is Love (and Money)!" An Introduction to the Rating Scale Rasch Model
Chapter 5. Relaxing the Common Scale: the Partial Credit Model
Chapter 6. Observations or Subjective Interpretations? A Many-facets Rasch Model
Chapter 7. The Rasch Model as a Generalized Linear Mixed Model
Chapter 8. Publishing a Paper: Detection of Online Hate Speech
Iasonas Lamprianou is Assistant Professor of Quantitative Methods at the University of Cyprus. He specializes in the operationalization and measurement of latent variables in the social sciences. Iasonas has a long-standing interest on the application of Rasch models on empirical data and has published widely in diverse disciplines such as education, political science, sociology and psychology.
"A fantastic introduction to the Rasch model from the novice to the experienced researcher with self-assessment questions, code, exercises and additional readings. Iasonas Lamprianou took on the challenging task of making accessible information that are not readily understood. His step by step approach builds upon prior knowledge and enables the reader to follow through more challenging concepts. Concepts and terms are made easy using a very gentle introductory approach for individuals with little background in mathematics and statistics. The available code enables the reader to easily apply each methodology and visualize results and obtain the necessary statistics. It is a must have for graduate students and researchers who plan on utilizing the Rasch model for scale development and evaluation." - Georgios Sideridis, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, US
"This book is an extremely useful introduction to a very important but still relatively little- known approach to carrying out quantitative research in education, psychology, economics or social sciences, to name just a few areas of study. All these fields benefit from the measurement of constructs such as language proficiency, political engagement, quality of life, extroversion, or parental support that cannot be observed directly but have to be constructed from concrete indicators. Lamprianou discusses the principles and practice of building measures with Rasch analyses in a very accessible way by walking the reader through the key concepts with the help of published studies. He encourages the readers to conduct their own analyses with the provided data samples by using the freely available software BlueSky Statistics which is based on the R platform. The book has a lot to offer to those who are involved in constructing measures across a wide range of areas of studies." - Ari Huhta, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
"This is an ideal book for the beginner and the experienced researcher interested to explore or enhance their knowledge and skills on the "magic world of the Rasch models", making the transition to the R platform. The author has made an excellent work in organising the book in such a way to effectively guide the reader through simple steps from conducting a Rasch analysis to more contemporary and advanced methods such as the Generalized Linear Mixed Models. The last chapter is a real innovation: it provides a fully blown example of how to construct a manuscript for submission to a journal, using the Rasch model. Applying the Rasch model in Social Sciences using R is a well written book with real life applications that could be a great resource for anyone interested in learning and applying Rasch modelling in analysing research data." - Panagiotis Antoniou, University of Cambridge, UK
"Applying the Rasch Model in Social Sciences using R and BlueSky Statistics is an intrinsically statistical book where jargon and acronyms abound. However, Iasonas Lamprianou, with his years of experience in the field and refreshing sense of humour, takes R and Rasch modelling to the next level. Even though not a primer for the general inexperienced reader, the book is carefully organised, introduces R in an accessible way and offers much inspiration through the vivid examples and breezy language. The book will make an absorbing read that offers independence but clear signposting and very many exciting venues of research based on substantial guidance and input for those who want to make the extra mile."- Dina Tsagari, OsloMet University, Norway
"If you are new to Item Response Theory (IRT) and Rasch measurement, this book is an excellent introduction to how to use R (via the user-friendly platform of BlueSky) to perform statistical analyses within this framework. The book covers key concepts and resources needed to use basic and more advanced Rasch techniques to analyse data from various disciplines including education, psychology and political science. Its style is very accessible; each chapter really drives home the conceptual understanding before proceeding to the formulae, the statistical procedures and the examples. It is written in an enjoyable way and can be read through cover to cover. Moreover, I found the wealth of clear examples, the nice computer outputs, and most importantly, the intuitive explanations, an excellent educational way to preview both R and Rasch analysis. Applying the Rasch Model in Social Sciences using R and BlueSky Statistics is an essential resource for anyone wishing to begin, or expand, their learning of Rasch measurement techniques using R." - Ioannis Tsaousis, University of Crete, Greece