ERIC Number: EJ850926
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 3
A Clarification of the Effects of Rapid Guessing on Coefficient [Alpha]: A Note on Attali's "Reliability of Speeded Number-Right Multiple-Choice Tests"
Wise, Steven L.; DeMars, Christine E.
Applied Psychological Measurement, v33 n6 p488-490 2009
Attali (2005) recently demonstrated that Cronbach's coefficient [alpha] estimate of reliability for number-right multiple-choice tests will tend to be deflated by speededness, rather than inflated as is commonly believed and taught. Although the methods, findings, and conclusions of Attali (2005) are correct, his article may inadvertently invite a different type of misconception. Specifically, readers might interpret Attali's conclusion that rapid guessing at the end of speeded tests has the effect of deflating coefficient [alpha] as a more generalized, albeit incorrect, conclusion that the presence of rapid guessing in test data always deflates coefficient [alpha] estimates. The purpose of this article is to illustrate that rapid guessing can--and often does--have the effect of "inflating" coefficient [alpha] estimates above what they would be if there were no rapid-guessing. (Contains 1 table.)
Descriptors: Guessing (Tests), Multiple Choice Tests, Test Reliability, Computation, Mathematical Concepts, Misconceptions
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