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Reliability and Reliability oefficient
Acceptance sampling involves sampling inspection by a purchaser who has to decide whether to accept a shipment of product. Thus, the objective of acceptance sampling is either to accept or to reject the product. It does not attempt to control the quality during the manufacturing process. This is altogether a different approach from what has been followed in control charts discussed earlier. A major advantage of acceptance sampling is that it can motivate suppliers to improve the quality of their items. The basic idea of reliability is summed up by the word consistency. Researchers can and do evaluate the reliability of their instruments from different perspectives but the basic question that cuts across these various perspectives (and techniques) is alwa
ys the same: “To what extent can we say that the data are consistent?” As you will see, the way in which reliability is conceptualized by researchers can take one of three basic forms. In some studies, researchers ask, “To what degree does a person’s measured performance remain consistent across repeated testing’s?” In other studies, the question of interest takes a slightly different form: “To what extent does the individual
items that go together to make up a test or an inventory consistently measures the same underlying
characteristic?” In still other studies, the concern over reliability is expressed in the question, “How much consistency is there among the ratings provided by a group of raters?” Despite the differences
among these three questions, the notion of consistency is at the heart of the matter in each case.
Different statistical procedures have been developed to assess the degree to which a researcher’s
data are reliable, and we will consider some of the more frequently used procedures in a moment. Before doing that, however, I want to point out how the different procedures are similar. Besides dealing, in one way or another, with the concept of consistency, each of the reliability techniques leads to a single numerical index. Called a reliability coefficient, this descriptive summary of the
data’s consistency normally assumes a value somewhere between 0.00 and +1.00, with these two “end points” representing situations where consistency is either totally absent or totally present.