Does item homogeneity indicate internal consistency or item redundancy in psychometric scales?

Gregory J. Boyle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

305 Citations (Scopus)


The term 'internal consistency' has been used extensively in classical psychometrics to refer to the reliability of a scale based on the degree of within-scale item intercorrelation, as measured by say the split-half method, or more adequately by Cronbach's (1951) (Psychometrika, 16, 297-334) alpha, as well as the KR20 and KR21 coefficients. This term is a misnomer, as a high estimate of internal item consistency/item homogeneity may also suggest a high level of item redundancy, wherein essentially the same item is rephrased in several different ways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-294
Number of pages4
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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