Reliability and Validity Assessment: New Approaches

Duane F. Alwin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The quality of measurement is considered the sine qua non of research in all sciences. In the social sciences, the concern with measurement quality is critical because theoretical constructs are unobserved and often elusive. In order to evaluate the quality of measurement in these fields, it is necessary to, first, develop a model that specifies the linkage between observations and the latent variable(s) of interest; second, to develop a research design that permits the estimation of parameters of such a model; and third, to develop an interpretation of these parameters that is consistent with the concepts of measurement quality. Several traditions exist for the formulation of such models that relate observed to unobserved variables, and the concepts of reliability and validity are often used to interpret the quality of measurement from such designs. This article discusses the traditional techniques of reliability and validity assessment and briefly presents some new approaches to evaluating the properties of individual measures that are aimed at measuring theoretical constructs of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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