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Most psychometricians and testing experts would list reliability among the most important characteristics that tests and other kinds of psychological data need to have. Most textbooks on psychological testing, as well as the test standards adopted by the major professional associations representing those who work in testing, devote attention to reliability. In general, reliability is defined as consistency of test or assessment scores, but sometimes it may also be defined as accuracy of assessment. Although many readers likely understand accuracy, consistency may be a more difficult concept. Imagine stepping on a bathroom scale, being displeased with the resulting number, stepping off, and then stepping on once again. If the numbers are generally very similar, that is consistency. Similarly, if an individual answers a number of ...

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