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Mon 3 Feb 2020
14:00 - 16:00

Venue: 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 6

Provided by: Social Sciences Research Methods Programme


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Issues in Measurement: Validity and Reliability

Mon 3 Feb 2020


This short two-hour course will provide an introduction to measurement issues in the social sciences. We design questions (or "survey instruments") to gain information on the concepts we are researching. Two prime considerations in whether an instrument is effective are validity (does our instrument actually measure what we want it to measure?) and reliability (does our instrument give consistent results across a range of different situations?) Considerations of validity and reliability are important across many areas of social science, including the measurement of personality and mental health; attitudes; ability tests; substance use disorders; and cultural differences and similarities between various groups. The course will discuss the importance, concepts, and types of validity and reliability. We will also briefly look at some statistical techniques for validity and reliability checks: Cronbach’s Alpha, Kappa coefficient, and Factor Analysis.

Target audience
  • University Students from Tier 1 Departments
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here

None; but this module will primarily be of interest to students wishing to perform some sort of statistical analysis, so students without any background in statistics should be intending to study statistics at least until the level of BQA.


Number of sessions: 1

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Mon 3 Feb   14:00 - 16:00 14:00 - 16:00 8 Mill Lane, Lecture Room 6 map H.W. Mak
Readings and resources
  • Carmines, E. (1985) Reliability and validity assessment. SAGE Publications, Inc.
  • Field, A. (2016). Reporting research, variables and measurement: breaking the law. In An adventure in statistics: the reality enigma (pp. 66-69). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
  • Frankfort-Nachmias, C., & Nachmias, D. (1997). Design and structure of research. In Research methods in the social sciences (fifth ed., pp. 164-174). Great Britain: Arnold.

This module is not assessed.

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