Reliability vs. Validity: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between reliability and validity is that reliability is concerned with the precision and reproducibility of measurements whereas validity is concerned with the truthfulness and accuracy of measurements.

Before we move to more differences, let’s first understand Reliability and Validity:

  • Reliability: Reliability refers to the consistency and stability of measurements or data.
  • Validity: Validity refers to the extent to which a measurement accurately measures what it intends to measure.

Now, let’s get to Reliability vs Validity:

Major differences between Reliability and Validity

Reliability Validity
Reliability addresses random error and measurement error that affect the consistency of measurements. Validity examines both random and systematic error that impact the accuracy of measurements.
Reliability ensures that measurements produce consistent and reproducible results when repeated. Validity ensures that measurements accurately reflect the intended construct or concept.
Reliability evaluates the internal consistency of a measure, assessing the degree to which different items within a measure are interrelated. Validity examines the overall meaningfulness and relevance of the measure.
Reliability focuses on the consistency of measurements within a specific context or sample. Validity addresses the generalizability of measurements to a broader population or context.
Reliability is typically assessed using statistical measures, such as test-retest reliability or inter-rater reliability. Validity is evaluated through various methods, including content validity, criterion validity, and construct validity.

So, these are the main differences between the entities.

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