# PCA: Variance in Data Explained by Rasch Measures

A Rasch model predicts that there will be a random aspect to the data. This is well understood. But what does sometimes surprise us is how large the random fraction is.

The Figure shows the proportion of raw-observation randomness predicted to exist in dichotomous observations under various conditions. Note (2015): Practical experience indicates that these curves are useable approximations for polytomous items.

The x-axis is the absolute difference between the mean of the person and item distributions, from 0 logits to 5 logits. The y-axis is the percent of variance in the data explained by the Rasch measures.

Each plotted line corresponds to one combination of standard deviations. The lesser of the person S.D. and the item S.D. is first, 0 to 5 logits, followed by "~". Then the greater of the person S.D. and the item S.D.

Thus, the arrows indicate the line labeled "0-3". This corresponds to a person S.D. of 0 logits and an item S.D. of 3 logits, or a person S.D. of 0 logits and an item S.D. of 3 logits. The Figure indicates that, with these measure distributions about 50% of the variance in the data is explained by the Rasch measures.

When the person and item S.D.s, are around 1 logit, then only 25% of the variance in the data is explained by the Rasch measures, but when the S.D.s are around 4 logits, then 75% of the variance is explained. Even with very wide person and item distributions with S.D.s of 5 logits only 80% of the variance in the data is explained.

For the unexplained variance, see Critical Eigenvalue Sizes (Variances) in Standardized Residual Principal Components Analysis (PCA).

In early versions of Winsteps, specify PRCOMP=R

How the Table was computed

This Table was produced with Excel:

1. Normal distributions of logit measures for the items and persons were simulated using specified S.D.s and targeting (= mean difference between person measures and item measures).
2. For each person-item combination were computed:
the Rasch-dichotomous expected-score: Eni = 1/(1+exp(Di-Bn)
and model-variance of the expected-score: Wni = Eni(1-Eni)
3. The expected scores were averaged
4. Sum-of-squares of explained variance is: sum[(expected score - average expected score)²]
5. Sum-of-squares of unexplained variance is: sum( model-variances of expected scores )
6. Explained variance = (Sum-of-squares of explained variance) / (Sum-of-squares of explained variance + Sum-of-squares of unexplained variance)

Here are some percentages for empirical datasets:

 % Variance Explained Dataset Winsteps File name 71.1% Knox Cube Test exam1.txt 29.5% CAT test exam5.txt 0.0% coin tossing - 50.8% Liking for Science(3 categories) example0.txt 37.5% NSF survey(3 categories) interest.txt 30.0% NSF survey(4 categories) agree.txt 78.7% FIM® (7 categories) exam12.txt

John Michael Linacre

Editor, Rasch Measurement Transactions

Variance in Data Explained by Rasch Measures. Linacre, J.M. … Rasch Measurement Transactions, 2008, 22:1 p. 1164

Rasch Publications
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
March 31, 2017, Fri. Conference: 11th UK Rasch Day, Warwick, UK, www.rasch.org.uk
April 2-3, 2017, Sun.-Mon. Conference: Validity Evidence for Measurement in Mathematics Education (V-M2Ed), San Antonio, TX, Information
April 26-30, 2017, Wed.-Sun. NCME, San Antonio, TX, www.ncme.org - April 29: Ben Wright book
April 27 - May 1, 2017, Thur.-Mon. AERA, San Antonio, TX, www.aera.net
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
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