PsycTESTS – Reliability, Validity & Factor Analysis

If you’re planning to cite or reuse a test you find in PsycTESTS®, you’ll want to check the reliability, validity, and factor analysis to make sure it suits your research.

Reliability is the ability of a test to measure an attribute consistently. If a group of people takes a personality test and many of them get different results from one day to the next, the test has low reliability.

Validity is the degree to which a test reflects what it is supposed to measure. If a test that is supposed to measure general intelligence actually measures the ability to recall classic literature, the test has low validity.

Factor Analysis is a mathematical procedure that reduces a set of interrelations among variables to a smaller set of variables. For example, a sociology survey might start with six factors of wealth (income, education, occupation, home value, parks in neighborhood, and crime in neighborhood) and, using statistical correlations, reduce them to just two factors: individual socioeconomic status and neighborhood socioeconomic status.

These three psychometric fields can be found in the Test Development Record. The Test Development Record provides details from the original article that discusses the development of the test. This information should help you determine if this test will fit your needs. (Note that if the authors do not report this information in the original article, then it will not be provided in the PsycTESTS record.)

Some tests will also have Test Use and Test Review records. Each PsycTESTS record pulls information from a different research article, so the reliability, validity, and factor analysis can be different from record to record, even if they describe the same test.

If you need to find the full text of the original article, look in the Reported In or Source field. If you’re having trouble finding full-text for the original article, ask your librarian.

Here is a step-by-step guide to finding these fields on your platform, APA PsycNET®, EBSCOhost, Ovid, and ProQuest.

When choosing a test for reuse, don’t forget to check permissions!

Marta Soto