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Alpha, Dimension-Free, and Model-Based Internal Consistency Reliability


As pointed out by Sijtsma (in press), coefficient alpha is inappropriate as a single summary of the internal consistency of a composite score. Better estimators of internal consistency are available. In addition to those mentioned by Sijtsma, an old dimension-free coefficient and structural equation model based coefficients are proposed to improve the routine reporting of psychometric internal consistency. The various ways to measure internal consistency are also shown to be appropriate to binary and polytomous items.

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Correspondence to Peter M. Bentler.

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Research supported in part by grants DA00017 and DA01070 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This paper is based in part on Bentler (2003).

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Bentler, P.M. Alpha, Dimension-Free, and Model-Based Internal Consistency Reliability. Psychometrika 74, 137–143 (2009).

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