Logo
Logo

Goldsmiths - University of London

Modelling Melodic Discrimination Tests: Descriptive and Explanatory Approaches

Harrison, Peter; Musil, Jason and Müllensiefen, Daniel. 2016. Modelling Melodic Discrimination Tests: Descriptive and Explanatory Approaches. Journal of New Music Research, 45(3), pp. 265-280. ISSN 0929-8215 [Article]

No full text available
[img] Text
Final_submission_20160519 (1).docx - Accepted Version
Permissions: Administrator Access Only until 22 January 2018.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (177kB)

Abstract or Description

Melodic discrimination tests have been used for many years to assess individual differences in musical abilities. These tests are usually analysed using classical test theory. However, classical test theory is not well suited for optimizing test efficiency or for investigating construct validity. This paper addresses this problem by applying modern item response modelling techniques to three melodic discrimination tests. First, descriptive item response modelling is used to develop a short melodic discrimination test from a larger item pool. The resulting test meets the test-theoretic assumptions of a Rasch (1960) item response model and possesses good concurrent and convergent validity as well as good testing efficiency. Second, an explicit cognitive model of melodic discrimination is used to generate hypotheses relating item difficulty to structural item features such as melodic complexity, similarity, and tonalness. These hypotheses are then tested on response data from three melodic discrimination tests (n = 317) using explanatory item response modelling. Results indicate that item difficulty is predicted by melodic complexity and melodic similarity, consistent with the proposed cognitive model. This provides useful evidence for construct validity. This paper therefore demonstrates the benefits of item response modelling both for efficient test construction and for test validity.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):

10.1080/09298215.2016.1197953

Keywords:

melodic discrimination, similarity, memory, musical abilities, item response modelling

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
25 May 2016Accepted
22 June 2016Published

Item ID:

19406

Date Deposited:

04 Jan 2017 14:29

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2017 10:16

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/19406

View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)