Common items and reliability in personality measurement

Frank H. Farley, Arie Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Most psychological tests and inventories, particularly in personality and attitude measurement, contain common items, that is, various subscales of the test or inventory may share one or more items in common. Surprisingly, the role of common items in such a fundamental personality test attribute as reliability is not known. The present report specifically considered common-item contributions to test internal consistency reliability using extant data from the California Psychological Inventory. No negative contribution of item overlap was found. To the contrary, it was concluded that the use of common items is an economical technique for increasing the total number of items in the scales, thus increasing scale internal reliabilities without increasing the overall number of items in the inventory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-211
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1980
Externally publishedYes


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