Cronbach, Lee J.

(b. 1916, Fresno, California; d. 2001, Palo Alto, California). Ph.D. Educational Psychology, University of Chicago, Illinois; M.A. University of California, Berkeley; BA, Fresno State College.

Cronbach took the Stanford Binet IQ test at age 5 and reportedly scored a 200, and he was then placed in Lewis Terman's landmark study of the intellectually gifted. He finished high school when he was 14 years old and college when he was 18. Thurstone's work on attitude measurement provided early influence on Cronbach's lifelong engagement with educational and psychological measurement. However, Cronbach refused to narrowly specialize. “Weaving strands into a tapestry was what I enjoyed, not spinning the thread.”

His life's work spanned three major domains: (a) measurement—where he invented the most widely used reliability coefficient today, the Cronbach ...

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