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# LECTURE 6

RELIABILITY
RELIABILITY

• Reliability is a proportion of
variance measure (squared
variable)
• Defined as the proportion of
observed score (x) variance due
to true score ( ) variance:
• 2x = xx’
= 2 / 2x
VENN DIAGRAM REPRESENTATION

Var() Var(e)

Var(x)
reliability
PARALLEL FORMS OF TESTS
• If two items x1 and x2 are parallel,
they have
• equal true score variance:
– Var(1 ) = Var(2 )
• equal error variance:
– Var(e1 ) = Var(e2 )
• Errors e1 and e2 are uncorrelated:
(e1 , e2 ) = 0
• 1 = 2
Reliability: 2 parallel forms
• x 1 =  + e 1 , x 2 =  + e2
• (x1 ,x2 ) = reliability
= xx’
= correlation between
parallel forms
Reliability: parallel forms
x1 x2
x
x

e  e

## xx’ = x * x

Reliability: 3 or more parallel
forms
• For 3 or more items xi, same general form
holds
• reliability of any pair is the correlation
between them
• Reliability of the composite (sum of items)
is based on the average inter-item
correlation: stepped-up reliability,
Spearman-Brown formula
Reliability: 3 or more parallel
forms
Spearman-Brown formula for reliability

## Example: 3 items, 1 correlates .5 with 2, 1

correlates .6 with 3, and 2 correlates .7 with
3; average is .6
rxx = 3(.6) / [1 + 2(.6) ] = 1.8/2.2 = .87
Reliability: tau equivalent
scores
• If two items x1 and x2 are tau
equivalent, they have
• 1 = 2
• equal true score variance:
– Var(1 ) = Var(2 )
• unequal error variance:
– Var(e1 )  Var(e2 )
• Errors e1 and e2 are uncorrelated:
(e1 , e2 ) = 0
Reliability: tau equivalent
scores
• x 1 =  + e 1 , x 2 =  + e2
• (x1 ,x2 ) = reliability
= xx’
= correlation between
tau eqivalent forms
(same computation as for parallel,
observed score variances are
different)
Reliability: Spearman-Brown
Can show the reliability of the parallel
forms or tau equivalent composite is

## kk’ = [k xx’]/[1 + (k-1) xx’ ]

k = # times test is lengthened

## example: test score has rel=.7

doubling length produces rel =
2(.7)/[1+.7] = .824
Reliability: Spearman-Brown
example: test score has rel=.95
Halving (half length) produces

 xx = .5(.95)/[1+(.5-1)(.95)]
 = .905
Thus, a short form with a random
sample of half the items will produce a
test with adequate score reliability
Reliability: KR-20 for parallel or
tau equivalent items/scores
Items are scored as 0 or 1, dichotomous
scoring
Kuder and Richardson (1937):
special cases of Cronbach’s more general
equation for parallel tests.
KR-20 = [k/(k-1)] [ 1 - piqi / 2y ] ,
where pi = proportion of respondents
obtaining a score of 1 and qi = 1 – pi .
pi is the item difficulty
Reliability: KR-21 for parallel
forms assumption
Items are scored as 0 or 1, dichotomous scoring
Kuder and Richardson (1937)
KR-21 = [k/(k-1)] [ 1 - kp. q. / 2c ]
p. is the mean item difficulty and q. = 1 – p.
KR-21 assumes that all items have the same
difficulty (parallel forms)
item mean gives the best estimate of the
population values.
KR-21  KR-20.
Reliability: congeneric
scores
• If two items x1 and x2 are congeneric,
1. 1  2
2. unequal true score variance:
Var(1 )  Var(2 )
3. unequal error variance:
Var(e1 )  Var(e2 )
4. Errors e1 and e2 are uncorrelated:
(e1 , e2 ) = 0
Reliability: congeneric
scores
x1 = 1 + e1 , x2 = 2 + e2

## This is the correlation between two

separate measures that have a
common latent variable
Congeneric measurement structure

x1 x2
x11 12 x22

e1
1 2
e2

## xx’ = x1 112 x22

Reliability: Coefficient alpha
Composite=sum of k parts, each with its
own true score and variance
C = x1 + x2 + …xk

 ≤ 1 - 2k / 2c
est = k/(k-1)[1 - s2k / s2c ]
Reliability: Coefficient alpha
Alpha =
1. Spearman-Brown for parallel or
tau equivalent tests
2. = KR20 for dichotomous
items (tau equiv.)
= Hoyt, even for 2 x item  0
(congeneric)
Hoyt reliability
• Based on ANOVA concepts extended during
the 1930s by Cyrus Hoyt at U. Minnesota
• Considers items and subjects as factors that
are either random or fixed (different models
with respect to expected mean squares)
• Presaged more general Coefficient alpha
derivation
Reliability: Hoyt ANOVA
Source df Expected Mean Square

## est Hoyt = [ (MSpersons) - (MSerror) ] / (MSpersons)

Reliability: Coefficient alpha
Composite=sum of k parts, each with its
own true score and variance
C = x1 + x2 + …xk
Example: sx1 = 1, sx2=2, sx3=3
sc = 5
est = 3/(3-1)[1 - (1+4+9)/25 ]
= 1.5[1 – 14/25]
= 16.5/25 = .66
RELIABILITY

g-coefficients

Cronbach’s alpha

inter-rater

parallel form

Hoyt

## dichotomous split half

scoring:
Spearman-
KR-20 Brown
KR-21 correction
average
inter-item
SPSS DATA FILE

JOE 1 1 1 0
SUZY 1 0 1 1
FRANK 0 0 1 0
JUAN 0 1 1 1
SHAMIKA 1 1 1 1
ERIN 0 0 0 1
MICHAEL 0 1 1 1
BRANDY 1 1 0 0
WALID 1 0 1 1
KURT 0 0 1 0
ERIC 1 1 1 0
MAY 1 0 0 0
SPSS RELIABILITY OUTPUT

R E L I A B I L I T Y A N A L Y S
I S - S C A L E
(A L P H A)

Reliability Coefficients

N of Cases = 12.0
N of Items = 4

Alpha = .1579
SPSS RELIABILITY OUTPUT

R E L I A B I L I T Y A N A L Y S I S
- S C A L E (A L P H A)

Reliability Coefficients

N of Cases = 12.0
N of Items = 8

Alpha = .6391
Note: same items duplicated
TRUE SCORE THEORY AND
STRUCTURAL EQUATION
MODELING
True score theory is consistent with the
concepts of SEM
- latent score (true score) called a factor in
SEM
- error of measurement
- path coefficient between observed score x
and latent score  is same as index of
reliability
COMPOSITES AND FACTOR
STRUCTURE
• 3 Manifest (Observed) Variables required
for a unique identification of a single factor
• Parallel forms implies
– Equal path coefficients (termed factor loadings)
for the manifest variables
– Equal error variances
– Independence of errors
Parallel forms
e e
factor diagram
x1 x2
x x
e
x 
x3

## xixj = xi * xj = reliability between variables

i and j
RELIABILITY FROM SEM
• TRUE SCORE VARIANCE OF THE
COMPOSITE IS OBTAINABLE FROM THE
LOADINGS:
k 
=  2i = Variance of factor
i=1
k = # items or subtests
= k2x = k times pairwise average
reliability of items
RELIABILITY FROM SEM
• RELIABILITY OF THE COMPOSITE IS
OBTAINABLE FROM THE LOADINGS:

 = k/(k-1)[1 - 1/  ]
• example 2x = .8 , K=11
 = 11/(10)[1 - 1/8.8 ]
= .975
TAU EQUIVALENCE
• ITEM TRUE SCORES DIFFER BY A
CONSTANT:
i = j + k
• ERROR STRUCTURE UNCHANGED AS
TO EQUAL VARIANCES,
INDEPENDENCE
CONGENERIC MODEL
• LESS RESTRICTIVE THAN PARALLEL
FORMS OR TAU EQUIVALENCE:
– LOADINGS MAY DIFFER
– ERROR VARIANCES MAY DIFFER
• MOST COMPLEX COMPOSITES ARE
CONGENERIC:
– WAIS, WISC-III, K-ABC, MMPI, etc.
e1 e2

x1 x2
x 
1 x 
2

e3
x 
3 
x3

(x1 , x2 )= x  * x 
1 2
COEFFICIENT ALPHA
• xx’ = 1 - 2E /2X
• = 1 - [2i (1 - ii )]/2X ,
• since errors are uncorrelated
•  = k/(k-1)[1 - s2i / s2C ]
• where C = xi (composite score)
• s2i = variance of subtest xi
• sC = variance of composite
• Does not assume knowledge of subtest ii
COEFFICIENT ALPHA-
NUNNALLY’S COEFFICIENT
• IF WE KNOW RELIABILITIES OF EACH
SUBTEST, i
• N = K/(K-1)[1-s2i (1- rii )/ s2X ]
• where rii = coefficient alpha of each subtest
• Willson (1996) showed
  N  xx’
NUNNALLY’S RELIABILITY CASE
e1 e2

x1 x2
s1 x 
1 x 
2

s2
e3
x 
3 
x3

s3
X X = 2x 
i i i + s2 i
Reliability Formula for SEM with
Multiple factors (congeneric with
subtests)
Single factor model:
 =  i2 / [ i2 + ii +  ij ]
> 
If eij = 0, reduces to
 =  i2 / [ i2 + ii ] = Sum(factor loadings on 1st factor)/ Sum of observed
variances

This generalizes (Bentler, 2004) to the sum of factor loadings on the 1 st factor divided by the
sum of variances and covariances of the factors for multifactor congeneric tests

## Maximal Reliability for Unit-weighted Composites

Peter M. Bentler
University of California, Los Angeles
UCLA Statistics Preprint No. 405
October 7, 2004
http://preprints.stat.ucla.edu/405/MaximalReliabilityforUnit-weightedcomposites.pdf
Multifactor models and specificity
• Specificity is the correlation between two
observed items independent of the true
score
• Can be considered another factor
• Cronbach’s alpha can overestimate
reliability if such factors are present
• Correlated errors can also result in alpha
overestimating reliability
CORRELATED ERROR PROBLEMS
e1 e2
s
x1 x2
x 
1 x 
2

e3
x 
3 
x3 Specificities can be
misinterpreted as a
correlated error model if
they are correlated or a
second factor
s3
CORRELATED ERROR PROBLEMS

e1 e2
x1 x2
x  1 x  2

e3
x 
3  Specificieties can
x3 be misinterpreted as
a correlated error
model if
specificities are
correlated or are a
s3 second factor
SPSS SCALE ANALYSIS
• ITEM DATA
• EXAMPLE: (Likert items, 0-4 scale)
• Mean Std Dev Cases

## • 1. CHLDIDEAL (0-8) 2.7029 1.4969 882.0

• 2. BIRTH CONTROL
• PILL OK 2.2959 1.0695 882.0
• 3. SEXED IN SCHOOL 1.1451 .3524 882.0
• 4. POL. VIEWS
• (CONS-LIB) 4.1349 1.3379 882.0
• 5. SPANKING OK
• IN SCHOOL 2.1111 .8301 882
CORRELATIONS

• Correlation Matrix

## • CHLDIDEL PILLOK SEXEDUC POLVIEWS

• CHLDIDEL 1.0000
• PILLOK .1074 1.0000
• SEXEDUC .1614 .2985 1.0000
• POLVIEWS .1016 .2449 .1630 1.0000
• SPANKING -.0154 -.0307 -.0901 -.1188
SCALE CHARACTERISTICS

## • Statistics for Mean Variance Std Dev Variables

• Scale 12.3900 7.5798 2.7531 5

## • Items Mean Minimum Maximum Range Max/Min Variance

• 2.4780 1.1451 4.1349 2.9898 3.6109 1.1851

• Item Variances
• Mean Minimum Maximum Range Max/Min Variance
• 1.1976 .1242 2.2408 2.1166 18.0415 .7132
• Inter-itemCorrelations
• Mean Minimum Maximum Range Max/Min Variance
• .0822 -.1188 .2985 .4173 -2.5130 .0189
ITEM-TOTAL STATS

• Item-total Statistics
• Scale Scale Corrected
• Mean Variance Item- Squared Alpha
Total Multiple if item
• Correlation R deleted

## • CHLDIDEAL 9.6871 4.4559 .1397 .0342 .2121

• PILLOK 10.0941 5.2204 .2487 .1310 .0961
• SEXEDUC 11.2449 6.9593 .2669 .1178 .2099
• POLVIEWS 8.2551 4.7918 .1704 .0837 .1652
• SPANKING 10.2789 7.3001 -.0913 .0196 .3655
ANOVA RESULTS

• Analysis of Variance

• Source of
• Variation Sum of Sq. DF Mean Square F Prob.

## • Between People 1335.5664 881 1.5160

• Within People 8120.8000 3528 2.3018
• Measures 4180.9492 4 1045.2373 934.9 .0000
• Residual 3939.8508 3524 1.1180
• Total 9456.3664 4409 2.1448
RELIABILITY ESTIMATE

• Reliability Coefficients
5 items

• Alpha = .2625
Standardized item alpha =
.3093
• Standardized means all items parallel
RELIABILITY:
APPLICATIONS
STANDARD ERRORS
• se = standard error of measurement
• = sx [1 - xx ]1/2
• can be computed if xx is estimable
• provides error band around an observed
score:
[ -1.96se + x, 1.96se + x ]
x
-1.96se +1.96se

## ASSUMES ERRORS ARE NORMALLY DISTRIBUTED

TRUE SCORE ESTIMATE
• est = xx x + [1 - xx ] xmean
• example: x= 90, mean=100, rel.=.9

## • est = .9 (90) + [1 - .9 ] 100

= 81 + 10
= 91
STANDARD ERROR OF TRUE
SCORE ESTIMATE
• S = = sx [ xx ]1/2 [1 - xx ]1/2

## • Provides estimate of range of likely true

scores for an estimated true score
DIFFERENCE SCORES
• Difference scores are widely used in
education and psychology:
Learning disability
= Achievement - Predicted Achievement
• Gain score from beginning to end of school
year
• Brain injury is detected by a large
discrepancy in certain IQ scale scores
RELIABILITY OF D SCORES
• D=x-y
• s2D = s2x + s2y - 2rxy sx sy

## • rDD = [rxx s2x + ryy s2y -2 rxy sx sy ]/ [s2x + s2y - 2rxy sx sy ]

REGRESSION DISCREPANCY
• D = y - ypred
• where ypred = bx + b0

## • sDD = [(1 - r2xy )(1- rDD)]1/2

• where
• rDD = [ryy + rxx rxy -2r2xy ]/ [1- r2xy ]
TRUE DISCREPANCY
• D = b D y.x(y - ymn) + bD x.y(x - xmn)
• sD = [b2D y.x + b2D x.yn +2(b Dy.x bDx.y rxy]
• and rDD =
{[2-(rxx-ryy)2 + (ryy-rxy)2 -
2(ryy-rxy)(rxx-rxy)r2xy] /
[(1-rxy)(ryy+rxx-2rxy)]}-1