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Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha: Well Known but Poorly Understood

Title
Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha: Well Known but Poorly Understood
Author
김성훈
Keywords
reliability; coefficient alpha; tau-equivalency; internal consistency; multidimensionality; multiple-factor model
Issue Date
2015-04
Publisher
SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC
Citation
ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH METHODS, v. 18, NO 2, Page. 207-230
Abstract
This study disproves the following six common misconceptions about coefficient alpha: (a) Alpha was first developed by Cronbach. (b) Alpha equals reliability. (c) A high value of alpha is an indication of internal consistency. (d) Reliability will always be improved by deleting items using alpha if item deleted. (e) Alpha should be greater than or equal to .7 (or, alternatively, .8). (f) Alpha is the best choice among all published reliability coefficients. This study discusses the inaccuracy of each of these misconceptions and provides a correct statement. This study recommends that the assumptions of unidimensionality and tau-equivalency be examined before the application of alpha and that structural equation modeling (SEM)-based reliability estimators be substituted for alpha when one of these conditions is not satisfied. This study also provides formulas for SEM-based reliability estimators that do not rely on matrix notation and step-by-step explanations for the computation of SEM-based reliability estimates.
URI
http://orm.sagepub.com/content/18/2/207http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11754/24243
ISSN
1094-4281; 1552-7425
DOI
10.1177/1094428114555994
Appears in Collections:
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION[S](사범대학) > EDUCATION(교육학과) > Articles
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