Limitations of coefficient alpha as an index of test unidimensionality1

Samuel B. Green, Robert W. Lissitz, Stanlen A. Mulaik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

266 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Confusion in the literature between the concepts of internal consistency and homogeneity has led to a misuse of coefficient alpha as an index of item homogeneity. Coefficient alpha is actually a complexly determined test statistic, item homogeneity only being one influence on its magnitude. The related statistic, the average intercorrelation, has similar difficulties. Several indices of item homogeneity derived from the model of common factor analysis are offered as alternatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-838
Number of pages12
JournalEducational and Psychological Measurement
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes

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Homogeneity
Statistics
Factor analysis
Coefficient
Statistical Factor Analysis
statistics
Internal Consistency
Common factor
Factor Analysis
Test Statistic
Statistic
factor analysis
homogeneity
Alternatives
Model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Education

Cite this

Limitations of coefficient alpha as an index of test unidimensionality1. / Green, Samuel B.; Lissitz, Robert W.; Mulaik, Stanlen A.

In: Educational and Psychological Measurement, Vol. 37, No. 4, 1977, p. 827-838.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Green, Samuel B. ; Lissitz, Robert W. ; Mulaik, Stanlen A. / Limitations of coefficient alpha as an index of test unidimensionality1. In: Educational and Psychological Measurement. 1977 ; Vol. 37, No. 4. pp. 827-838.
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