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The SAGE Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods

Michael S. Lewis-Beck & Alan Bryman & Tim Futing Liao

Pub. date: 2004 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412950589

Print ISBN: 9780761923633 | Online ISBN: 9781412950589

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Encyclopedia Entry

Stability Coefficient

Douglas Madsen

Stability coefficient is a term that, in the social sciences, means the correlation of measurement results from Time 1 with measurement results from Time 2, where the subjects being measured and the measuring instrument remain precisely the same. If the coefficient is high (and no instrument reactivity is present), it generally signals both measurement reliability and response continuity. If it is low, a correct interpretation is harder to reach. A low stability coefficient with measures of personal history or behavior plainly derives from unreliability. If respondents first report and then later deny features of ...

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