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Glossary » inter-observer reliability

inter-observer reliability

or inter-coder reliability; the degree to which 2 observers record the same data (or in some cases, draw the same conclusions) in the same circumstances. Lack of reliability in observations can indicate that observers are missing important details, that they are not categorizing observations in the same way, or that what appeared to be similar circumstances are actually not. Reliability is critical when design decisions are being made based on observations, and critical for allowing researchers to effectively communicate about their findings.