Rating things out of 10

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OBrien
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Rating things out of 10

Postby OBrien » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:44 am UTC

So the problem here is everyone has a different scale: Some people say 5's average, above 5 is good, below 5 is bad, some sat 4,5,6 are average, some say 0 and 10 are "ideal scenarios" which are practically impossible to acieve, some make them "realistic ideals", not the gretest but the greatest you're likely to get. So my brother a while ago came up with a system for him and his housemates to use so everyone is on the same level: assign marks out of 10 that reflect university degree levels (or at least UK ones, not sure how other countries do it). I propose we take up this idea, as it's pretty easy to grasp, even if you don't know the system, and encourage all we know to use it. It works like this:

0-3: Fail. Just... just no.
4: Third class degree. It's a pass and it's worth it but with just a little bit more effort it could be a lot better
5: Second class degree. Good, definitely go for it, unless you're a snob.
6: Two-one: Wow, this is brilliant! Get one now!
7-8: First class degree: Truly amazing! This is definitely the best around and the best you can really feasibly expect. A lot of effort went in here and it payed off
9-10: (Really high) first class degree: OH MY GOD IT'S LIKE THERE'S A PARTY IN MY MOUTH AND I'VE JUST LEARNT HOW TO FIRE LASER BEAMS FROM MY EYES! The ultimate, but you'll probably never see it in your lifetime.

(In case you're wondering, here the system has been applied to a particulary diverse real ale tasting session)
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Kang
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby Kang » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:13 am UTC

Does it really matter whether 5 or 6 is the average? In the end the whole rating is a subjective matter in so many different ways that for it to be your exact guidance you would have to know the rating person's distribution over a while anyway, to see what his or her standards, pros and cons are. And lets face it: if you ask someone how much he or she liked something on a 0-10 scale, you shouldn't expect scientific precision anyway, it's basically low numbers being «I didn't like that.», the average span being «Alright, I guess.» and the top numbers being «I loved that.». Or do you and your friends actually debate whether that ale was a 6.2 or maybe a 5.9?

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LaserGuy
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:07 pm UTC

I'd suggest asking to rank out of five, four or two. You'll probably get much more reliable results.

I think there's a bit of a cultural gap here too. In North America, a 5/10 is a very marginal pass. If someone (who I considered reliable) said a movie/drink/whatever was 5/10, I probably wouldn't pay money to see it. 7/10 is probably closer to what most people would consider "average".

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OBrien
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby OBrien » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:38 pm UTC

Kang wrote:Does it really matter whether 5 or 6 is the average? In the end the whole rating is a subjective matter in so many different ways that for it to be your exact guidance you would have to know the rating person's distribution over a while anyway, to see what his or her standards, pros and cons are. And lets face it: if you ask someone how much he or she liked something on a 0-10 scale, you shouldn't expect scientific precision anyway, it's basically low numbers being «I didn't like that.», the average span being «Alright, I guess.» and the top numbers being «I loved that.». Or do you and your friends actually debate whether that ale was a 6.2 or maybe a 5.9?

I'm not saying it will eliminate subjectiveness or any disagreement, I'm just saying it will reduce it (as it has in the sample group). And no, we didn't give them decimal point, but there wer a couple of "and a halfs".

EDIT: And if your point is that I'm being needlessly pedantic, we're all geeks here, aren't we supposed to be?

LaserGuy wrote:I'd suggest asking to rank out of five, four or two. You'll probably get much more reliable results.

I have observed this, but the uni way works better with at least mine and my brother's friends.

LaserGuy wrote:I think there's a bit of a cultural gap here too. In North America, a 5/10 is a very marginal pass. If someone (who I considered reliable) said a movie/drink/whatever was 5/10, I probably wouldn't pay money to see it. 7/10 is probably closer to what most people would consider "average".

And this is the sort of thing the uni system eliminates.
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby Xeio » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:17 pm UTC

If you want to eliminate the trends, you're better off moving the scale to X/5. X/10 is too much range for something that is rarely, if ever needed (even you list 0-3 and 9-10 as basically throwaway values). If you cut that down to 5, 1 is terrible, 2 is mediocre, 3 is ok, 4 is good, 5 is excellent. You don't "need" an unattainable value of good or bad as it just causes the system to be less balanced. If you need more than 5 values, likely what you really need is to actually describe the rating.

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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:28 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:I think there's a bit of a cultural gap here too.


You mean grade inflation is still swimming it's insidious little legs off in the middle of the atlantic?
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby folkhero » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:46 pm UTC

Kang wrote:And lets face it: if you ask someone how much he or she liked something on a 0-10 scale, you shouldn't expect scientific precision anyway,

True, if you want scientific precision, you have to accompany your 0-10 scale with faces showing how happy/pissed off each number represents.

When I had a kidney stone, they asked my pain level from 1 to 10, and I my thought process was, "This is easily the worst pain I've felt in my life, but I bet that being tortured would still be a lot worse," so I said , "8."
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LaserGuy
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:01 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:I think there's a bit of a cultural gap here too.


You mean grade inflation is still swimming it's insidious little legs off in the middle of the atlantic?


I think grade compression is probably a better descriptor. For most academic programs, even into university, 50% is considered a pass. If you know less than half of the material, then most academic settings consider that a fail and require remedial actions to be taken. Some may dip a little lower (my uni had a math class where a pass was 10[imath]\pi[/imath] for example), but there are more the exceptions rather than the norm. In practical terms, then, there's little difference between a 0% and 50%. As a consequence, grades tend to be compressed, not in the range between 0 and 100, but in the range between 50 and 100--the bell curve is rarely set where half of a given class will fail, so the distribution is pushed upward. Some programs try to be more rigorous, demanding, say, a 60% or 65% pass, but, ironically, this doesn't actually make a difference--the same number of people will probably receive "passing" grades in any event, but it will serve to compress the passing grades into a smaller and smaller range, and, likely, push the mean of the distribution even higher.

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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby Xeio » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:13 pm UTC

Yea, as far as I saw during school passing was generally >60%, with occasional exceptions due to some crazy curves (where the professors generally made the material extra hard).
folkhero wrote:When I had a kidney stone, they asked my pain level from 1 to 10, and I my thought process was, "This is easily the worst pain I've felt in my life, but I bet that being tortured would still be a lot worse," so I said , "8."
I suggest, in the future you use 10. And if, by some horrible circumstance you are ever tortured, feel free to turn it up to 11.

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Kang
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby Kang » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:43 pm UTC

OBrien wrote:
Kang wrote:Does it really matter whether 5 or 6 is the average? In the end the whole rating is a subjective matter in so many different ways that for it to be your exact guidance you would have to know the rating person's distribution over a while anyway, to see what his or her standards, pros and cons are. And lets face it: if you ask someone how much he or she liked something on a 0-10 scale, you shouldn't expect scientific precision anyway, it's basically low numbers being «I didn't like that.», the average span being «Alright, I guess.» and the top numbers being «I loved that.». Or do you and your friends actually debate whether that ale was a 6.2 or maybe a 5.9?

I'm not saying it will eliminate subjectiveness or any disagreement, I'm just saying it will reduce it (as it has in the sample group). And no, we didn't give them decimal point, but there wer a couple of "and a halfs".

EDIT: And if your point is that I'm being needlessly pedantic, we're all geeks here, aren't we supposed to be?

That's all fine, my point was rather that the gain in precision was probably not worth having to explain the procedure to everyone you ask first. If you usually keep asking the same people, it might be easier to just get accustomed to how they rate, just from a 'a little more work for me' vs 'a little more work for everyone' point of view.

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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby ikrase » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:50 pm UTC

I suggest something more like a logarithmic scale where 10 is "common better level". The thing is that these things run SO far in both directions. 9 is then 1/10 as good as that, i.e. poor but not fail, 8 is pretty fail, numbers below that are deeper levels of horrifying, below 1 is absolutely inimical. Above that, 11 is awesome, etc.
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby meatyochre » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:02 am UTC

The typical school scale in America is:
really terribly bad = fail = F = 0-59
below average = fail = D = 60-69
average = passing = C = 70-79
above average = B = 80-89
outstanding = A = 90-100

So apparently there is a cultural difference where the "average" in the US is skewed toward the top of a 10(or 100)-point scale. When I think average I think of 7.5
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby GhostWolfe » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:15 am UTC

OBrien wrote:So my brother a while ago came up with a system for him and his housemates to use so everyone is on the same level: assign marks out of 10 that reflect university degree levels (or at least UK ones, not sure how other countries do it).
Where I went to university, we used a 7-level grading system.

1 - outright fail
2 - fail
3 - conceeded pass
4 - pass
5 - merit
6 - credit
7 - distinction

I think any more than 7 points is just getting to be too much, there's not enough distinction between an 8 and a 9 for a ten-point scale to be worth it, especially if your scale is already skewed to have more "good" options than bad.

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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby Aaeriele » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:41 am UTC

I can't cite a source of it off the top of my head, but I do remember hearing about some research results that say a 5 to 7 point scale is the sweet spot.

5-point scale:

1 - Bad
2 - Below average
3 - Average
4 - Above average
5 - Good

7-point scale:

1 - Exceptionally bad
2 - Bad
3 - Worse than average
4 - Average
5 - Better than average
6 - Good
7 - Exceptionally good

In both cases, the "touchstones" are Bad, Average, and Good, and then the intermediates allow you to lean away from whatever you consider your touchstones. Thus you don't have to worry about extremes (because your touchstone bad isn't going to be "the worst possible X ever", it's just "a bad X"), and you don't have to worry about skew (because the middle of the scale is always your average X).

The 7-point scale gives a little more room for people to show very strong taste, whereas the 5-point scale lets you get general opinion on whether something is good, bad, or just average, while being influenced less by people on the extremes.
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby Game_boy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:47 pm UTC

In terms of game ratings by the media (which tend to be controversial based on the fact that 7/10 is average now), I like Ars Technica's system:

Buy/Rent/Skip

If you just want to know what to do, there's your answer. If that's not enough, you ask, "Why?" and are therefore led to read the review. Just giving "7.8/10" or whatever encourages inaccurate and valueless comparisons between vastly different games ("Halo got a 9/10 so it's better than Mario Kart which got 8.9/10") and discourages reading the review text to find out the writer's actual opinion of the game.
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby Triangle_Man » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:05 pm UTC

Game_boy wrote:In terms of game ratings by the media (which tend to be controversial based on the fact that 7/10 is average now), I like Ars Technica's system:

Buy/Rent/Skip

If you just want to know what to do, there's your answer. If that's not enough, you ask, "Why?" and are therefore led to read the review. Just giving "7.8/10" or whatever encourages inaccurate and valueless comparisons between vastly different games ("Halo got a 9/10 so it's better than Mario Kart which got 8.9/10") and discourages reading the review text to find out the writer's actual opinion of the game.


I remember seeing that system in a kids' sports magazine. This seems to be really efficent; it hits all the touchstones without adding anything superflourous.

Of course, the 'rent' segament doesn't make sense for edible products, such as restaurant meals or whatnot. It's the only flaw in an otherwise decent system.
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby folkhero » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:40 pm UTC

For a restaurant you could have, seek out/go if the person you're with wants to try it/avoid. It's not as concise, but I think it gets at the same idea.
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby emceng » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:06 pm UTC

My sister and I created our own rating system like this. We based it on navy terms, because we had both just read the Hornblower series. If I recall correctly, it went something like:

Barnacle
Bilge rat
Deckhand
Midshipman
Lieutenant
Commander
Captain
Admiral(or Rear admiral :wink: )
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby GhostWolfe » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:27 pm UTC

emceng wrote:Barnacle
Bilge rat
Deckhand
Midshipman
Lieutenant
Commander
Captain
Admiral
This is cute, I need to write it down for future reference, especially for next Talk Like a Pirate Day.

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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby Midnight » Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:19 am UTC

10 has to be the greatest example of that thing ever.

As an example a 10/10 burp would have to be the greatest burp ever burped.
This is a difficult task. All other numbers are negotiable.
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Re: Rating things out of 10

Postby Josephine » Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:26 am UTC

Midnight wrote:10 has to be the greatest example of that thing ever.

As an example a 10/10 burp would have to be the greatest burp ever burped.
This is a difficult task. All other numbers are negotiable.

If you produce a 10/10 burp, what happens to the last 10/10 burp? relegated to 9/10?
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