Statistical precision of measurement of any kind of phenomenon has two aspects: reliability and validity. The concept of reliability refers to the fact that repeated, different measurements of the same subject produce different results. Validity refers to the difference between a measurement of a subject and its “true” value established otherwise. Reliable measurements are not necessarily valid, while valid measurements must be reliable.

A study or experiment is valid if it actually measures what it claims to, and if there are no logical errors in drawing conclusions from the data. There are several different types of validity, but they all concern researcher bias, population peculiarity, or statistical artifact that undermines the meaningfulness of research.

One can apply the statistical concept of reliability to any kind of natural, ...

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