Educación Médica Superior
version ISSN 0864-2141
SOLER CARDENAS, Silvio F.. Reliability coefficient of written tools in the frame of the classical theory of tests. Educ Med Super [online]. 2008, vol.22, n.2, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0864-2141.
AIM: to assess reliability in the frame of the classical theory of tests and to exactly specify the conditions under which Cronbach's alpha coefficient is the best option. DEVELOPMENT: Cronbach's alpha coefficient is the most used numerical resort to evaluate the reliability of written tools. As a proof, it is enough to say that from its publication in 1951 up to now, it has been cited more than 5 590 times. However, it has been proved that this coefficient is not always the best option to assess reliability. Various alternatives were discussed for the assessment of reliability, and the conditions under which Cronbach's alfa coefficient is the best choice were determined. CONCLUSIONS: the classical theory of tests is an appropriate model to develop the concept of reliability and the calculation formulae more useful for the applications. This coefficient is the most used indicator to quantify the internal consistency of tests, and it is necessary to bear in mind the suppositions that support the correct application of alpha coefficient to make a proper interpretation of its numerical value.
Keywords : Reliability coefficients; Cronbach's alpha coefficient; classical theory of tests.