Implications of Dimensionality on Measurement Reliability

  • Kimmo Vehkalahti
  • Simo Puntanen
  • Lauri Tarkkonen


We study some topics of the reliability of measurement, especially certain implications of multidimensionality and unidimensionality. We consider these aspects within a measurement framework focusing on one hand on the dimensionality of the measurement model and on the other hand on the dimensionality of the measurement scale. Working through theorems and examples we compare two reliability estimators, namely Cronbach's alpha and Tarkkonen's rho. It seems that there is not much use for Cronbach's alpha. It is based on unidimensional models and scales, while the models and scales used in practice are multidimensional. Tarkko-nen's rho seems to work well in multidimensional studies, giving support to the real purpose of reliability estimation which seems to have been lost for a quite long time.


Measurement Model Measurement Scale True Score Test Theory Full Column Rank 
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© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of TampereTampereFinland

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