Types of Reliability and Validity

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In the field of Human Services, especially in the creation of programs, projects and approach strategies, it is important to measure the reliability of approaches and results. The following approaches are more often than not used to test reliability and are therefore the embodiment 'types' of how reliable an approach or strategy tested with them is:

1. Test-retest reliability - The test-retest method estimates the reliability of the test and the results gathered from it by administering the test to the same group of people at least twice over a set period. The results are then correlated and with a high reliability mark, the tests are seen as reliable.

2. Alternate Forms - Two groups are given the test and their scores are correlated. They do not necessarily have to come from the same population (i.e. test in India & test in Bangladesh) as long as there is a certain relationship. The score correlation becomes the reliability guide.

3. Split Half reliability - In terms of tests, half the items relate to the other half and it is the correlation between them in the test results that matter (i.e. half of the test or interview is about health and welfare issues and the other is about the economic state of the interviewee).

4. Inter-rater Reliability - As in contests where there are multiple judges, tests, contests, experiments and research are tested and marked by a set of qualified people. Their average assessment is then seen as reliable.

5. Internal consistency - Internal consistency refers to the manner by which a particular subject matter is explored in a test/research. The greater the number of items relating to the subject matter, the greater the internal consistency, making the test/research focused and reliable as questions about the subject matter are asked in a myriad of ways.


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