Reliability

Of the various types of reliability, two need to be considered here: test-retest and interrater reliability. Test-retest reliability refers to the temporal stability of the score. The clinical meaningfulness of test results is contingent upon its repeatability. Thus, any changes observed in the individual over time should reflect a true change in the person's status and not be due to random fluctuations of unknowable origin. A psychological test that has established test-retest reliability can be thus used repeatedly to monitor changes in status that occur during the course of treatment and aftercare.

The second type of reliability is interrater reliability. A test score obtained by one clinician should ideally be the same as the test administered by another, equally skilled clinician. In this fashion, confidence can be placed in the results. In effect, the results should not reflect the idiosyncratic interaction between the clinician and the client.

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