Kickin’ It Old Skool

I’m currently sitting in the 24-hour computer lab at GW, writing a paper that’s due tomorrow at midnight.

A flood of memories is rushing into my brain: my freshman year at Boston University in 1997, writing a paper at the Rich Hall computer lab into the wee hours of the morning; the grating clackity-clack of keys on those yellowing keyboards (iPods were years away, and only a few of us could afford portable CD players, so you really couldn’t actively tune anything out); the annoying voice of the computer lab monitor as he gossips with friends on the phone; and fellow travelers who, like me, decided to procrastinate and wait until the last minute to write. 

I decided to head to campus and write here, as I will inevitably find more ways to procrastinate at home (e.g., the promised viewing of Sweeney Todd, cleaning the bathroom, grocery shopping, etc.). Being in the campus computer lab and surrounded by students in various stages of concentration makes me feel like I’m 18 all over again.

Of course, my project is just a tad bigger this time around: I’m currently writing a draft of Chapter III of my dissertation. I’d consider the assignment just another paper, but this is probably my weakest area of expertise.

Chapter III is concerned with the methodology of the study, and although I’ve done a good enough job to stave off developing any kind of deep understanding of statistical methodology, at some point I need to be able to articulate why I’m deciding to do what I’m doing in my proposed study.

So, will some kind soul out there explain to me how I actually calculate Cronbach’s alpha coefficient?None of the books and articles I’ve read are particularly helpful. And the answers I found in wikipedia are dense, to say the least, and not quite presented in a way that a 2-year old like me needs to understand it. I guess I’m closer to 18 than I thought I was.

Okay, back to work. Wish me luck.



One thought on “Kickin’ It Old Skool

  1. Come on. Doesn’t everyone know about this?

    Cronbach’s α (alpha) is a statistic. It has an important use as a measure of the reliability of a psychometric instrument. It was first named as alpha by Cronbach (1951), as he had intended to continue with further instruments. It is the extension of an earlier version, the Kuder-Richardson Formula 20 (often shortened to KR-20), which is the equivalent for dichotomous items, and Guttman (1945) developed the same quantity under the name lambda-2.

    Perhaps your next paper can discuss the perils of plaigarism … and why you shouldn’t just copy whatever’s in Wikipedia and act all hoity-toity.

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