, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 249–267 | Cite as

Inequalities among lower bounds to reliability: With applications to test construction and factor analysis

  • P. M. Bentler
  • J. Arthur Woodward


A chain of lower-bound inequalities leading to the greatest lower bound to reliability is established for the internal consistency of a composite of unit-weighted components. The chain includes the maximum split-half coefficient, the lowest coefficient consistent with nonimaginary common factors, and the lowest coefficient consistent with nonimaginary common and unique factors. Optimization theory is utilized to determine the conditions that are requisite for the inequalities. Convergence proofs demonstrate that the coefficients can be attained. Rapid algorithms obtain estimates of the coefficients with sample data. The theory yields methods for splitting items into maximally similar sets and for exploratory factor analysis based on a theoretical solution to the communality problem.

Key words

reliability internal consistency test theory factor analysis 


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Reference notes

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Copyright information

© The Psychometric Society 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. M. Bentler
    • 1
  • J. Arthur Woodward
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles

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