Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Psychometric Properties

  • Annie T. GintyEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_480-2



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 Further Reading

  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, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sport and Exercise SciencesThe University of BirminghamEdgbaston, BirminghamUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anna C. Whittaker
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK