Transient errors are caused by variations in feelings, moods, and mental states over time. If these errors are present, coefficient alpha is an inflated estimate of reliability. A true-score model is presented that incorporates transient errors for test-retest data, and a reliability estimate is derived. This estimate, referred to as the test-retest alpha, is less than coefficient alpha if transient error is present and is less susceptible to effects due to item recall than a test-retest correlation. An assumption underlying the test-retest alpha is essential tau equivalency of items. A test-retest split-half coefficient is presented as an alternative to the test-retest alpha when this assumption is violated. The test-retest alpha is the mean of all possible test-retest split-half coefficients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychology (miscellaneous)