Assessing Reliability and Validity

For both reliability and validity, it would be neat and tidy if there were some absolute dividing point (e.g., .50) that separates large from small coefficients. Unfortunately, no such dividing point extsts. In evaluating the reliability and validity of data, the issue of "large enough" has to be answered in a relative manner. The question that the researcher (and you) should ask is, "How do the reliability and validity of the data associated with the measuring instrument(s) used in a given study compare with the reliability and validity of the data associated with other available instruments?" If the answer to this query about relative quality turns out to be "pretty good," then you should evaluate the researcher's data in a positive manner--even if the absolute size of the reported coefficients leaves lots of room for improvement.

(From Chapter 4 of the 6th edition, p. 88)

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Schuyler W. Huck
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