Validating a psychometric instrument
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In the social sciences, this is much more difficult, so any instrument must be tested with a reasonable range of reliability.
Any test of instrument reliability must test how stable the test is over time, ensuring that the same test performed upon the same individual gives exactly the same results.
The quality criteria for sound project evaluation instruments are organized into three sections corresponding to the three principal characteristics of instruments: (1) Design, (2) Technical Quality, and (3) Utility.Political opinion polls, on the other hand, are notorious for producing inaccurate results and delivering a near unworkable margin of error.In the physical sciences, it is possible to isolate a measuring instrument from external factors, such as environmental conditions and temporal factors.In the non-physical sciences, the definition of an instrument is much broader, encompassing everything from a set of survey questions to an intelligence test.
A survey to measure reading ability in children must produce reliable and consistent results if it is to be taken seriously.The test of internal consistency involves ensuring that each part of the test generates similar results, and that each part of a test measures the correct construct.