Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Reliability


A common approach for determining musical competence is to rely on information about individuals' extent of musical training, but relying on musicianship status fails to identify musically untrained individuals with musical skill, as well as those who, despite extensive musical training, may not be as skilled. To counteract this limitation, we developed a new test battery (Profile of Music Perception Skills; PROMS) that measures perceptual musical skills across multiple domains: tonal (melody, pitch), qualitative (timbre, tuning), temporal (rhythm, rhythm-to-melody, accent, tempo), and dynamic (loudness). The PROMS has satisfactory psychometric properties for the composite score (internal consistency and test-retest r>.85) and fair to good coefficients for the individual subtests (.56 to.85). Convergent validity was established with the relevant dimensions of Gordon’s Advanced Measures of Music Audiation and Musical Aptitude Profile (melody, rhythm, tempo), the Musical Ear Test (rhythm), and sample instrumental sounds (timbre). Criterion validity was evidenced by consistently sizeable and significant relationships between test performance and external musical proficiency indicators in all three studies (.38 to.62, p<.05 to p<.01). An absence of correlations between test scores and a nonmusical auditory discrimination task supports the battery's discriminant validity (-.05, ns). The interrelationships among the various subtests could be accounted for by two higher order factors, sequential and sensory music processing. A brief version of the full PROMS is introduced as a time-efficient approximation of the full version of the battery.

Concepts: Psychometrics, Skill, Validity, Reliability, Sound, Music, Test


A barrier to preventative treatments for psychosis is the absence of accurate identification of persons at highest risk. A blood test that could substantially increase diagnostic accuracy would enhance development of psychosis prevention interventions.

Concepts: Blood, Sample size, Measurement, Greek loanwords, Psychometrics, Reliability, Accuracy and precision, ANOVA Gauge R&R


The KIPPPI (Brief Instrument Psychological and Pedagogical Problem Inventory) is a Dutch questionnaire that measures psychosocial and pedagogical problems in 2-year olds and consists of a KIPPPI Total score, Wellbeing scale, Competence scale, and Autonomy scale. This study examined the reliability, validity, screening accuracy and clinical application of the KIPPPI.

Concepts: Psychometrics, Reliability, Clinical psychology, Accuracy and precision, Problem solving, Problem


BACKGROUND: Negative affect and difficulties in its regulation have been connected to several adverse psychological consequences. While several questionnaires exist, it would be important to have a theory-based measure that includes clinically relevant items and shows good psychometric properties in healthy and patient samples. This study aims at developing such a questionnaire, combining the two Gross [1] scales Reappraisal and Suppression with an additional response-focused scale called Externalizing Behavioral Strategies covering clinically relevant items. METHODS: The samples consisted of 684 students (mean age = 23.3, SD = 3.5; 53.6% female) and 369 persons with mixed mental disorders (mean age = 36.0 SD = 14.6; 71.2% female). Items for the questionnaire were derived from existing questionnaires and additional items were formulated based on suggestions by clinical experts. All items start with “When I don’t feel well, in order to feel better…”. Participants rated how frequently they used each strategy on a 5-point Likert scale. Confirmatory Factor Analyses were conducted to verify the factor structure in two separate student samples and a clinical sample. Group comparisons and correlations with other questionnaires were calculated to ensure validity. RESULTS: After modification, the CFA showed good model fit in all three samples. Reliability scores (Cronbach’s alpha) for the three NARQ scales ranged between .71 and .80. Comparisons between students and persons with mental disorders showed the postulated relationships, as did comparisons between male and female students and persons with or without Borderline Personality Disorder. Correlations with other questionnaires suggest the NARQ’s construct validity. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that the NARQ is a psychometrically sound and reliable measure with practical use for therapy planning and tracking of treatment outcome across time. We advocate the integration of the new response-focused strategy in the Gross’s model of emotion regulation.

Concepts: Psychometrics, Factor analysis, Reliability, Mental disorder, Borderline personality disorder, Emotion, Personality disorder, Likert scale


PURPOSE: Existing patient self-reported shoulder scoring systems fail to express physicians' points of view, and understanding the wording can sometimes lead to confusion in Easterners. We sought to develop a valid, reliable, and responsive shoulder scoring system that combines the points of view of physicians and patients and is easily understood for worldwide applicability. METHODS: Six steps were followed to develop the scale: (1) investigation, identification of a specific population, and patient and physician interviews; (2) item generation, according to existing shoulder scales, a literature review, and patient and physician interviews; (3) item reduction, by combining and adjusting items; (4) formatting of the questionnaire, designed using both subjective and objective scales, with a 100-point score range; (5) pretesting, to eliminate confusion and misunderstanding of items, and (6) preliminary evaluation. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to assess validity (compared with American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, Constant-Murley, and University of California, Los Angeles scores), intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated to assess reliability (with a 2-week test-retest interval), and the standardized response mean was calculated to assess responsiveness (comparing preoperative and postoperative scores in patients). RESULTS: The final scoring system was designed to have a 100-point score range, with higher scores indicating better function. It consisted of self-report assessment by patients (61 points in total) and objective assessment by physicians (39 points in total). Updated scales, including a night pain subscale, patient-physician satisfaction, and 2-dimensional visual analog scale tool, were incorporated in our system. Compared with the other 3 scoring systems (American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, Constant-Murley, and University of California, Los Angeles scores), the new scoring system has shown favorable validity, with a Pearson correlation coefficient greater than 0.7. In addition, the intraclass correlation coefficient was greater than 0.9 during a 2-week test-retest interval, indicating high reliability, and the standardized response mean of the new system was greater than that of the other 3 scoring systems, indicating sensitive responsiveness. CONCLUSIONS: A new shoulder scoring system has been developed based on patients' and physicians' points of view and worldwide applicability and was verified to be valid, reliable, and responsive. The new scoring system includes a 2-dimensional visual analog scale, night pain subscale, and patient-physician satisfaction scale, which are not included in the existing scoring systems. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, development of diagnostic criteria.

Concepts: Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, Physician, Assessment, Psychometrics, Correlation and dependence, Reliability, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, Covariance and correlation


Sulcal pit analysis has been providing novel insights into brain function and development. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reliability of sulcal pit extraction with respect to the effects of scan session, scanner, and surface extraction tool. Five subjects were scanned 4 times at 3 MRI centers and other 5 subjects were scanned 3 times at 2 MRI centers, including 1 test-retest session. Sulcal pits were extracted on the white matter surfaces reconstructed with both Montreal Neurological Institute and Freesurfer pipelines. We estimated similarity of the presence of sulcal pits having a maximum value of 1 and their spatial difference within the same subject. The tests showed high similarity of the sulcal pit presence and low spatial difference. The similarity was more than 0.90 and the spatial difference was less than 1.7 mm in most cases according to different scan sessions or scanners, and more than 0.85 and about 2.0 mm across surface extraction tools. The reliability of sulcal pit extraction was more affected by the image processing-related factors than the scan session or scanner factors. Moreover, the similarity of sulcal pit distribution appeared to be largely influenced by the presence or absence of the sulcal pits on the shallow and small folds. We suggest that our sulcal pit extraction from MRI is highly reliable and could be useful for clinical applications as an imaging biomarker.

Concepts: Brain, Mathematics, Difference, Reliability, Image scanner, Pit, Scanners


Spoofing is becoming a serious threat to various Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) applications, especially for those that require high reliability and security such as power grid synchronization and applications related to first responders and aviation safety. Most current works on anti-spoofing focus on spoofing detection from the individual receiver side, which identifies spoofing when it is under an attack. This paper proposes a novel spoofing network monitoring (SNM) mechanism aiming to reveal the presence of spoofing within an area. Consisting of several receivers and one central processing component, it keeps detecting spoofing even when the network is not attacked. The mechanism is based on the different time difference of arrival (TDOA) properties between spoofing and authentic signals. Normally, TDOAs of spoofing signals from a common spoofer are identical while those of authentic signals from diverse directions are dispersed. The TDOA is measured as the differential pseudorange to carrier frequency ratio (DPF). In a spoofing case, the DPFs include those of both authentic and spoofing signals, among which the DPFs of authentic are dispersed while those of spoofing are almost overlapped. An algorithm is proposed to search for the DPFs that are within a pre-defined small range, and an alarm will be raised if several DPFs are found within such range. The proposed SNM methodology is validated by simulations and a partial field trial. Results show 99.99% detection and 0.01% false alarm probabilities are achieved. The SNM has the potential to be adopted in various applications such as (1) alerting dedicated users when spoofing is occurring, which could significantly shorten the receiver side spoofing cost; (2) in combination with GNSS performance monitoring systems, such as the Continuous Operating Reference System (CORS) and GNSS Availability, Accuracy, Reliability anD Integrity Assessment for Timing and Navigation (GAARDIAN) System, to provide more reliable monitoring services.

Concepts: Detection theory, Reliability, Navigation, Global Positioning System, Satellite navigation system, Global navigation satellite system, Satellite navigation systems, Differential GPS


Consumer-wearable activity trackers are electronic devices used for monitoring fitness- and other health-related metrics. The purpose of this systematic review was to summarize the evidence for validity and reliability of popular consumer-wearable activity trackers (Fitbit and Jawbone) and their ability to estimate steps, distance, physical activity, energy expenditure, and sleep.

Concepts: Exercise, Reliability, Capacitor, Electronics, Electronic engineering


The evidence that many of the findings in the published literature may be unreliable is compelling. There is an excess of positive results, often from studies with small sample sizes, or other methodological limitations, and the conspicuous absence of null findings from studies of a similar quality. This distorts the evidence base, leading to false conclusions and undermining scientific progress. Central to this problem is a peer-review system where the decisions of authors, reviewers, and editors are more influenced by impressive results than they are by the validity of the study design. To address this, BMC Psychology is launching a pilot to trial a new ‘results-free’ peer-review process, whereby editors and reviewers are blinded to the study’s results, initially assessing manuscripts on the scientific merits of the rationale and methods alone. The aim is to improve the reliability and quality of published research, by focusing editorial decisions on the rigour of the methods, and preventing impressive ends justifying poor means.

Concepts: Scientific method, Critical thinking, Sample size, Academic publishing, Reliability, Peer review, Publication bias, Publishing


In the present article we demonstrate stable individual differences in the extent to which a reliance on logic and evidence in the formation and evaluation of beliefs is perceived as a moral virtue, and a reliance on less rational processes is perceived as a vice. We refer to this individual difference variable as moralized rationality. Eight studies are reported in which an instrument to measure individual differences in moralized rationality is validated. Results show that the Moralized Rationality Scale (MRS) is internally consistent, and captures something distinct from the personal importance people attach to being rational (Studies 1-3). Furthermore, the MRS has high test-retest reliability (Study 4), is conceptually distinct from frequently used measures of individual differences in moral values, and it is negatively related to common beliefs that are not supported by scientific evidence (Study 5). We further demonstrate that the MRS predicts morally laden reactions, such as a desire for punishment, of people who rely on irrational (vs. rational) ways of forming and evaluating beliefs (Studies 6 and 7). Finally, we show that the MRS uniquely predicts motivation to contribute to a charity that works to prevent the spread of irrational beliefs (Study 8). We conclude that (1) there are stable individual differences in the extent to which people moralize a reliance on rationality in the formation and evaluation of beliefs, (2) that these individual differences do not reduce to the personal importance attached to rationality, and (3) that individual differences in moralized rationality have important motivational and interpersonal consequences.

Concepts: Belief, Ethics, Reliability, Religion, Virtue, Morality, Moral, Rationality