Invariant Measurement: Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences (Paperback) book cover

Invariant Measurement

Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences

By George Engelhard Jr.

© 2013 – Routledge

312 pages

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This introductory text describes the principles of invariant measurement, how invariant measurement can be achieved with Rasch models, and how to use invariant measurement to solve measurement problems in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. Rasch models are used throughout but a comparison of Rasch models to other item response theory (IRT) models is also provided.

Written with students in mind, the manuscript was class tested to help maximize accessibility.Chapters open with an introduction and close with a summary and discussion. Numerous examples and exercises demonstrate the main issues addressed in each chapter. Key terms are defined when first introduced and in an end-of-text glossary. All of the book’s analyses were conducted with the Facets program. The data sets used in the book, sample syntax files for running the Facets program, Excel files for creating item and person response functions, links to related websites, and other material are available at

Highlights include:

A strong philosophical and methodological approach to measurement in the human sciences

Demonstrations of how measurement problems can be addressed using invariant measurement

Practical illustrations of how to create and evaluate scales using invariant measurement

A history of measurement based on test-score and scaling traditions

Previously unpublished work in analyzing rating data, the detection and measurement of rater errors, and the evaluation of rater accuracy

A review of estimation methods, model-data fit, indices used to evaluate the quality of rater-mediated assessments, rater error and bias, and rater accuracy.

Intended as a supplementary text for graduate or advanced undergraduate courses on measurement or test theory, item response theory, scaling theory, psychometrics, advanced measurement techniques, research methods, or evaluation research taught in education, psychology, and the social and health sciences, the book also appeals to practitioners and researchers in these fields who develop or use scales and instruments. Only a basic mathematical level is required including a basic course in statistic.


Winner of 2015 Qiyas Award

"Invariant Measurement fills a much needed void in the library of Rasch measurement books. This book is a favorite among Rasch measurement enthusiasts for many reasons, not the least of which is the authors’ use of practical language coupled with a consistent tone. Invariant Measurement, however, is sure to be another favorite in the Rasch measurement anthology as its crisp, clear writing and practical approach will be easily digestible for both measurement experts and curious students alike." - Kenneth D. Royal, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Professor Engelhard Jr. has long been one of the strongest and most respected and thoughtful measurement specialists in our field. His book on measurement invariance in the social sciences brings great clarity for practitioners to what many have called the cornerstone of item response theory." - Ronald K. Hambleton, Distinguished University Professor, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, USA

"Measurement is fundamental to any scientific research but unless the measures are valid and dependable, the research will be misleading and futile. This book is a must-read for every serious researcher who needs to construct quality measures. It gives a thorough treatment on both the concepts and the methodology of Rasch measurement." - Magdalena M. C. Mok, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China

"George Engelhard is one of the world’s premier theorists on invariant measurement. … This will be a useful textbook for a graduate course on item response theory as well as a good desk reference for many psychometric researchers and practitioners." -Richard M. Luecht, University of North Carolina – Greensboro, USA

"I found each chapter easy to read and follow. … [It] includes more authentic examples and supplements which … make it (in my opinion) more accessible for graduate students." Jennifer Randall, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, USA

"The conversational tone makes the book … more engaging – as if one were having a conversation with the author. … I believe readers (particularly graduate students) will find the text engaging." - RJ DeAyala, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, USA

"The project makes a significant contribution to the field of measurement. I know of no other resource that has as their focus the basic concepts and principles of invariant measurement. …I …see this book as useful in introduction to Rasch measurement courses." – Carol Myford, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction 1. Introduction and overview. Part II. Conceptual and theoretical issues. 2. Invariant measurement. 3. Rasch models. 4. Researcher-Constructed Measures. 5. An Historical and Comparative Perspective on Research Traditions in Measurement. 6. The Quest for Invariant Measurement within the Scaling Tradition. Part III. Technical Issues. 7. Methods of Estimation for the Dichotomous Rasch Model. 8. Model-Data Fit for the Dichotomous Rasch Model. Part IV: Assessments with raters: Rater-invariant measurement. 9. Rater-mediated assessments: Conceptual framework. 10. Evaluating the quality of rater-mediated assessments I: Indices of rater errors and systematic biases. 11. Evaluating the quality of rater-mediated assessments II: Indices of rater accuracy. Part V: Final Word.

About the Author

George Engelhard, Jr. is a professor of educational measurement and policy in the Division of Educational Studies at Emory University. Professor Engelhard received his Ph.D. from The University of Chicago in the MESA (measurement, evaluation, and statistical analysis) program. Professor Engelhard is co-editor of four books, and the author or co-author of over 125 journal articles, book chapters, and monographs. He serves on national technical advisory committees on educational measurement and policy for several states including Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington. He is a past president of the Georgia Educational Research Association. Professor Engelhard has received numerous awards and fellowships including a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Fellowship Award, a Lilly Post-Doctoral Teaching Award, and a Writing Across the Curriculum Project Award. He is a fellow of the American Educational Research Association.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Testing & Measurement
MEDICAL / Research
PSYCHOLOGY / Assessment, Testing & Measurement