[eDebate] Solt on the point scale

David Glass gacggc
Tue Nov 6 19:18:49 CST 2007

okay but you're really dropping the main point: you can't know  what
happened unless you do the control -  by asking people to
double-enter, and study how they translated the points.

I apologize for being so blunt, but this is experimental design 101;
an experiment without controls is not interpretable.

for more info, see:




On 11/6/07, Gary Larson <Gary.N.Larson at wheaton.edu> wrote:
> David makes some excellent points about attempting to create experimental
> controls.  But I do need to take exception with a couple of things.
> David suggests that I'm merely speculating as to whether the process of
> recording two scores would itself impact one or both of the scores given.
> While my "speculation" is based on a very well established literature base
> in experimental psychology, let's imagine for a moment that I'm wrong.  If
> people do give exactly the same scores on the 30-point scale and Wake uses
> those scores as the official scores for the tournament rather than the 50 or
> 100 point alternative, Ross hasn't at all addressed the issue he posed.
> While not everyone agrees there's a pretty strong consensus that the current
> points reflect two potential problems ? inflation and compression.
> David then suggests that if the experiment created different scores it would
> be because they are more thoughtful than usual.  I trust that this will be
> the case but would then ask how to inject the same thoughtfulness into
> tournaments once the experiment ends.
> Whether or not the scores on the 30-point scale prove to be the same or
> different, David then sets an interesting condition for evaluating whether
> the new scale works.  If judges translate the old exactly to the new then
> the new is unnecessary.  If the new scale, however, doesn't distribute
> normally as the old times 3.33 +/- 2, then the new scale isn't reliable.
> But, of course, this assumes that the current scale is fully reliable,
> precisely one of the concerns on the table.  In fact, if David is right that
> the only problem is one of inadequate discrimination, then any of the
> strategies that start with the old scores, followed by a translation into
> new scale equivalents, followed by the tweaking up or down 1 or 2 points can
> be immediately adopted and no "research" is required.  In such a case the
> only difference between Wake's solution and USC's solution would be whether
> one or two additional discriminations between each option is better.  In
> either case, continuing to use the old scale without translation (during the
> research phase) serves no purpose.
> The only outcome that David is rightly concerned about is if some judges use
> a 70-100 scale while others use a 90-100 scale even though the instructions
> might suggest otherwise.  Of course, even that's not unique since some
> currently use a scale from 26-28, others use 27.5-28.5 and some others use
> 29-30.
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