G theory and the reliability of psychophysiological measures: a tutorial

Psychophysiology. 2001 Sep;38(5):796-806.


For some years, the limits of classic reliability theory have been recognized in favor of the Generalizability Theory, which deals simultaneously with multiple sources of error. This measurement model can be particularly useful when applied to research in cognitive psychophysiology. Indeed, studies in this field often deal with estimated measures whose reliability is rarely taken into account. In this paper, we report two generalizability studies in order to investigate the usefulness of G theory in providing information about the reliability of experimental results. The first was carried out on P300 measured during an oddball task, and the second was carried out on ERPs recorded during a recognition memory task. As expected, results showed that P300 modulation was more reliable than ERP memory modulation. This suggests that G theory can be a useful tool to estimate the reliability of psychophysiological findings, complementing and extending results from conventional analyses.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychophysiology / statistics & numerical data*