Deutsch: Messfehler / Español: Error de medición / Português: Erro de medição / Français: Erreur de mesure / Italiano: Errore di misurazione /

Measurement error is the component of an observed test score that is neither the true score nor the quality you wish to measure.

Measurement error refers to the degree to which a measurement or observation deviates from the true or actual value of the variable being measured. In psychology, measurement error can occur for a variety of reasons, including inadequate instrumentation, human error, and environmental factors.

Here are some examples of measurement error in psychology:

  1. Response bias: Response bias occurs when a participant systematically provides inaccurate or misleading responses to a survey or questionnaire. This can happen when participants try to present themselves in a socially desirable way, or when they misunderstand or misinterpret the questions.

  2. Observer bias: Observer bias occurs when the researcher's own beliefs or expectations influence the way they observe or interpret data. This can happen when the researcher is not blind to the hypothesis being tested or is biased towards a particular outcome.

  3. Instrumentation error: Instrumentation error occurs when the instruments used to measure a variable are not accurate or precise. For example, a scale used to measure weight may be poorly calibrated or not sensitive enough to detect small changes in weight.

  4. Sampling error: Sampling error occurs when the sample of participants used in a study is not representative of the population being studied. This can lead to inaccurate estimates of the prevalence or distribution of a particular behavior or trait.

Overall, measurement error can have a significant impact on the validity and reliability of research findings in psychology. It is important for researchers to take steps to minimize measurement error by using validated instruments, conducting pilot testing, and implementing procedures to reduce bias and ensure representative sampling.

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