Measuring Reliability in Survey

Reliability and validity are key constructs to figuring out the quality of research. Validity assesses how well the study results line up with what the study was designed to measure. Reliability assesses how well the same study can be repeated under the same conditions to produce the same results.

Even though most survey researchers believe that reliability is a crucial aspect of survey data, not many individuals have tried to figure out how trustworthy surveys are. When utilizing survey software, it’s crucial to grasp the subtle links between the questions and how they might influence how respondents interpret the questions. It is also necessary to know how to formulate dependable and valid inquiries. The reliability of a questionnaire is a technique to assess the accuracy of the method used to measure and collect data. Before a result is regarded as genuine, the method employed to measure it must be accurate. Further, what type of reliability you should find out relies on what kind of study you are performing and how you are doing it. The section below outlines how one may verify the reliability of a survey and when to employ a certain form of reliability test.

  • The test-retest technique is often used to give the same research tool, test, survey, or measure to the same group of people twice but at different times. Correlation coefficients are used to estimate reliability because they show how closely related two scores are in the same group.
  • Multiple Forms: Many forms are also called parallel forms or camouflaged test-retest. It tests how reliable the research tool is by changing the questions and giving them to the same people again to see if they give different answers.
  • Inter-rater reliability: When more than one rater or interviewer is involved in the interviewing or content analysis, inter-rater reliability is used to determine how reliable the research tool, instrument, or test is reliable. It is calculated by looking at how often different raters or interviewers agree on the same issue.
  • Split-half reliability: The split-half reliability approach, as its name suggests, looks at half of the indicators, tests, instruments, or surveys as if they were the whole thing. The results of this study are then compared to the whole analysis’s results to figure out how reliable the indicators, tests, or instruments are. Researchers now use Cronbach’s alpha, which links how well you did on each item to your overall score, to check the internal reliability of a test. The Kuder-Richardson coefficient is another way to determine how dependent something is on itself.

If you are measuring a property that you expect to stay the same over time, one can choose test-retest reliability. Further, if multiple researchers make observations or ratings about the same topic, one can choose Interrater reliability. The parallel forms approach can be used when using two different tests to measure the same thing. Split-half reliability can be used where all the items are intended to measure the same variable. 

Kultar Singh – Chief Executive Officer, Sambodhi

Kultar Singh