Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Psychometric Properties

  • Annie T. Ginty
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_480



Psychometrics is the construction and validation of measurement instruments and assessing if these instruments are reliable and valid forms of measurement. In behavioral medicine, psychometrics is usually concerned with measuring individual’s knowledge, ability, personality, and types of behaviors. Measurement usually takes place in the form of a questionnaire, and questionnaires must be evaluated extensively before being able to state that they have excellent psychometric properties, meaning a scale is both reliable and valid.


A reliable scale consistently measures the same construct. This can occur across testing sessions, individuals, and settings. A valid measure measures what it says it is going to measure. If something is valid, it is always reliable. However, something can be reliable without being valid.

For example (see Fig.  1), if someone has five darts and is told to hit the bull’s eye every time, their ideal aim is to be both...
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References and Readings

  1. DeVellis, R. F. (2003). Scale development: Theory and applications (2nd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Grimm, G. L., & Yarnold, P. R. (2000). Reading and understanding more multivariate statistics. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sport and Exercise SciencesThe University of BirminghamEdgbastonUK