The nature of individual inconsistency in performance
on trait measurements is an important
topic in psychometrics because of its direct relevance
to measurement reliability. Several studies
have supported short-term inconsistency as a systematic
source of variation among individuals by
finding some evidence for generalizability and relationship
to behavioral predictability. However, these
findings are questionable, since these studies confounded
change with short-term fluctuation in their
response inconsistency measure. The current research
separates these two sources of inconsistency
in a reanalysis of the data from one major study on
short-term consistency and finds little evidence for
generalizability or a relationship to behavioral predictability.
These results support the popular assumption
that measurement error from short-term
fluctuations is not due to systematic individual differences
in response consistency, as well as supporting
a more limited definition of the individual
Whitely, Susan E. (1978). Individual inconsistency: Implications for test reliability and behavioral predictability. Applied Psychological Measurement, 2, 571-579. doi:10.1177/014662167800200412
Whitely, Susan E..
Individual inconsistency: Implications for test reliability and behavioral predictability.
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