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Psychometric methods in accounting education: a review, some comments and implications for accounting education researchers

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Psychometric instruments are widely used in accounting education research (Herring et al., Issues in Accounting Education, 4(1), 48-57, 1989; Benke and Street, Accounting Education: an international journal, 1(1), 33-45, 1992). Problems with the reliability of scores produced by such instruments have led to difficulties in interpreting the results of applied research (Schriesheim et al., Journal of Management, 19, 385-417, 1993). This paper has three aims. The first is to present a rationale for including information about the measurement properties of research instruments used in published accounting education research. Information regarding the reliability and validity of item scores is useful to readers, journal editors and reviewers – especially when the research topic addresses changes in educational policy and processes. Second, problems encountered with questionnairebased research are presented and current practice in accounting education is reviewed. Third, construct validation is discussed in respect of measurement validity and factor analytic methods. The paper concludes with suggestions for improving contemporary practice in accounting education research.
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Keywords: CONFIRMATORY FACTOR ANALYSIS; EXPLORATORY FACTOR ANALYSIS; MEASUREMENT; QUESTIONNAIRE; RELIABILITY; VALIDITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-11-01

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