Psychometric Properties of Evaluation Instruments

Psychometric Properties of Evaluation Instruments

All surveys are not created equal. Whether you choose to use a preexisting survey, develop your own, or employ a combination of the two, it is important to consider the qualities of a good survey.  Determining the appropriateness and effectiveness of your survey is essential. This section is designed to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses so you can make informed decisions about using the right survey.

What are psychometrics?

Psychometrics is a field of study that addresses survey development. Psychometric study asks whether or not a survey measures what it intends to measure. Psychometrics also examines whether a specific variable accurately measures a given construct (like opinions about program quality or nutrition knowledge). Understanding psychometrics can help researchers and evaluators select appropriate surveys and identify whether their survey is performing as intended.


Quick facts about Psychometrics

  • Includes techniques for correctly measuring constructs such as knowledge or opinions
  • Involves construction of Surveys (surveys, assessments or tests)


Psychometricians and researchers have established several techniques for testing a survey. While there are many techniques, listed on the following page are two primary ways to ensure the credibility of a survey: reliability and validity.


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