Skew and internal consistency

Tammy Greer, William P. Dunlap, Samuel T. Hunter, Mitchell E. Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The effects of skew on the standardized item alpha were examined with Monte Carlo techniques. Alphas computed from normal variables were compared with alphas from lognormal variables, ranks, and skewed versus normal Likert-type variables. The extent and direction of skew were varied, as was the size of the population interitem correlation (rho), the number of items, and the number of categories for Likert-type variables. Because the average interitem correlation affects alpha and skew affects the average interitem correlation, the effect of skew on the average interitem correlation also was examined. Results indicated that skew decreased the average interitem correlation and produced small decreases in alpha that were largest when skew was large, rho was small, items were skewed in opposite directions, and there were fewer items. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1358
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


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