# [Rasch] Is reliability reliable?

Bond, Trevor trevor.bond at jcu.edu.au
Mon Dec 8 10:14:46 EST 2014

```Dear Parisa,
Have a look at two statistics
The range of the person measures...too small?
The SEs of your person measures.... Too big?
Both?
TGB

On 8 Dec 2014, at 6:52 am, "Thomas Salzberger" <thomas.salzberger at gmail.com<mailto:thomas.salzberger at gmail.com>> wrote:

Parisa,

I can't refer to your specific problem because it is beyond my expertise, but maybe some very general considerations as to reliabily help.

Although the definition of various reliability coefficients vary (some assume parallel items, some don't, etc), they are all based on the idea of TRUE VARIANCE / TOTAL VARIANCE.

with TRUE VARIANCE + ERROR VARIANCE = TOTAL VARIANCE.

Error variance is a property of the test (maybe even this can be disputed), but true variance is a property of the sample you have.
Thus, reliability is a property of the test AND the sample. It tells you how well the test discriminates between the subjects. If the subjects don't vary, there is nothing to discriminate between.

As you say, adding more extreme persons increases reliability (all other things being equal).

Interpreted as such, reliablity is, I believe, a useful statistic. But it should not be over-interpreted.
It is relative to the sample (population) of interest (or the sample you happen to have).

Skewed distributions are another issue.

Best
Thomas

2014-12-07 16:14 GMT+01:00 Parisa Daftari Fard <pdaftaryfard at yahoo.com<mailto:pdaftaryfard at yahoo.com>>:
Dear Friends, mentors, and colleagues,

I would like to raise a question referring to  my previous question which was based on stunning result on a small sample data and reading through new methodologies in sociocultural camp like measuring dynamicity and growth of different traits in group or individuals.

New articles using dynamic assessment (DA) may frequently report person reliability of zero for construct, as the purpose of DA is to skewed individuals negatively through increasing individuals' Zone of proximal development. Furthermore, Test Low reliability can be ameliorated by having more capable individuals answering questions. Now my question is that is reliability index reliable enough to rely on?

I do apologize if my question sounds novice. But is it possible to say that our interpretation of reliability is relative not fixed? I came across some new articles on DA reporting low reliability as indicator of working model!

Best Regards
Parisa

Parisa Daftarifard
PhD candidate of TEFL
Iran
Faculty member of IAU (South Tehran Branch)

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