, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 461-472

First online:

Ramifications of a population model forκ as a coefficient of reliability

  • Helena Chmura KraemerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

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Coefficientκ is generally defined in terms of procedures of computation rather than in terms of a population. Here a population definition is proposed. On this basis, the interpretation ofκ as a measure of diagnostic reliability in characterizing an individual, and the effect of reliability, as measured byκ, on estimation bias, precision, and test power are examined. Factors influencing the magnitude ofκ are identified. Strategies to improve reliability are proposed, including that of combining multiple unreliable diagnoses.

Key words

kappa reliability Spearman-Brown formula