Re: [R] a questtion about Cronbach's alpha more than 1

From: Ted Harding <>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 19:55:05 +0000 (GMT)

On 20-Feb-08 17:34:33, Smita Pakhale wrote:
> Dear All,
> I am a novice in R and am working on my thesis for
> master's in Epidemiology & Biostatistics. While
> calculating Cronbach's alpha for the SF-36
> questionnaire, I got all 8 of them more than 1. Is it
> possible to get alpha more than 1. If yes, please help
> me understand it. I read about the negative alpha
> value on your web postings. It does not answer my
> question though.
> Thank you.
> Sincerely,
> Dr. Smita Pakhale, MD
> McGill University, Canada

You should not get alpha > 1 if you calculate it by the standard definition. You can of course get negative values which are arbitrarily large.

I wonder, therefore, whether
a) You have calculated it by an incorrect method or a

   non-standard definition

b) You have somehow been presented with negative alpha < 1

   as positive values > 1.

Can you provide more detail about how you obtained the values you are writng about?

Best wishes,

E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <> Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
Date: 20-Feb-08                                       Time: 19:55:00
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