ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (7): 1194-1204.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.01194

• Research Method • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Single-item measures: Queries, responses and suggestions

WEI Xuhua, ZHANG Lianghua()   

  1. School of Management, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2018-08-31 Online:2019-07-15 Published:2019-05-22
  • Contact: Lianghua ZHANG


Single-item measures have long been debated by researchers. Proponents advocate the efficiency of single-item measures, while opponents question reliability and validity of them. Through comprehensive qualitative and quantitative reviews, advantages and disadvantages of single-item measures are summarized, and doubts and debates in the literature are analyzed and responded specially. Through systematic review, results show that single-item measures have acceptable level of reliability and validity. More notably, the criterion-related validity of multi-item measures is not superior than single-item measures. With the review and current findings, issues that should be noted during the development and usage of single-item measures were addressed. Although multi-item measures are more acceptable, single-item measures may also have its legitimacy in academic research. That is, researchers should value the potential advantages and application scope of single-item measures, so that single-item measures can play its appropriate role in managerial psychology and social science research.

Key words: single-item, multi-item, measure, reliability, validity

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