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Coefficient alpha: a useful indicator of reliability?

Shevlin, Mark, Miles, JNV, Davies, MNO and Walker, S (2000) Coefficient alpha: a useful indicator of reliability? PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES, 28 (2). pp. 229-237. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V9F-3XSJS01-3&_user=126978&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000010438&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=126978&md5=e186f6d43c0596277ecc65548b32e264


A series of Monte Carlo simulations were carried out to examine the performance of Cronbach's alpha as an index of reliability. Data were generated to be consistent with a single factor measured with six items. The magnitude of the factor loadings, systematic error and sample size were manipulated and alpha calculated from random samples. The results showed that alpha is influenced by factors other than the reliability of the items that comprise a scale. In particular the amount of systematic error, or deviation from unidimensionality, increased the estimate of alpha. The results are discussed in terms of traditional interpretation of alpha. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Psychology
Research Institutes and Groups:Psychology Research Institute > Health, Education and Well-being
ID Code:2035
Deposited By: Mrs Fiona Harkin
Deposited On:07 Dec 2009 15:17
Last Modified:12 Mar 2012 16:44

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