Reliably Measuring Belief Systems: Three Opinions
A third opinion is then asked of the same people. This opinion states that the death penalty is applied unfairly to poor people.
This time, the man on the left (who disagreed with the first two opinions) is unsure about the third opinion. The man on the extreme right said consistently that he agreed with all three opinions. The woman on the extreme left consistently said she disagreed with all three opinions. The woman in the center was unsure about all three.
When checking the reliability of a cluster of opinions, one statistic that social scientists use is called Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficient or Cronbach's alpha for short. Cronbach's alpha ranges from .00 (very unreliable) to 1.00 (perfectly reliable). Learn more about the technical aspects of reliability and Cronbach's alpha.