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Encyclopedia Entry

Split-Half

Sonja Ziniel

Split-half designs are commonly used in survey research to experimentally determine the difference between two variations of survey protocol characteristics, such as the data collection mode, the survey recruitment protocol, or the survey instrument. Other common names for such experiments are split-sample, split-ballot , or randomized experiments . Researchers using split-half experiments are usually interested in determining the difference on outcomes such as survey statistics or other evaluative characteristics between the two groups. In this type of experimental design, the sample is randomly divided into two halves, and each half receives a different treatment. Random assignment of sample members to the different treatments is crucial to ensure the internal validity of the experiment by guaranteeing that, on average, any observed differences between the two groups can be attributed to treatment effects rather than to differences in subsam-ple composition. Split-half experiments have been successfully used in various survey settings to study ...

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