Chapter 4: Misconceptions

When people read, hear, or prepare research summaries, they sometimes have misconceptions about what is or isn't "sound practice" regarding the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. Here are some of these common (and dangerous) misconceptions associated with the content of Chapter 4.

  1. If reliability is high, then validity most likely is high as well.
  2. If Researcher A uses a test that Researcher B built a year ago and documented as being reliable, then Researcher A can use that test today and have full confidence that it will be reliable for him/her too.
  3. High test-retest reliability implies high internal consistency reliability, and vice versa.
  4. If Larry's IQ score is 4 points higher than Mary's IQ score, then we have a legitimate right to say that Larry is more intelligent than Mary.
  5. Test-retest reliability remains fairly stable regardless of how much time passes between the test and the retest.
  6. The "criterion" in criterion-related validity is a numerical cut-off that is used to determine whether a measuring instrument is or isn't valid.
  7. Discriminant validity is documented best by correlation coefficients that are near -1.00.
  8. A study's findings should be considered to be valid if that study's data are shown to have high reliability and validity.
  9. The typical researcher spends as much time considering how to collect data as he/she does considering how to analyze data.
  10. Kendall's coefficient of concordance (W) would turn out equal to the mean of the various rs values if Spearman's rho is computed for each pair of things being ranked.

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Schuyler W. Huck
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