Sample size requirements for the design of reliability studies: Precision consideration

Gwowen Shieh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In multilevel modeling, the intraclass correlation coefficient based on the one-way random-effects model is routinely employed to measure the reliability or degree of resemblance among group members. To facilitate the advocated practice of reporting confidence intervals in future reliability studies, this article presents exact sample size procedures for precise interval estimation of the intraclass correlation coefficient under various allocation and cost structures. Although the suggested approaches do not admit explicit sample size formulas and require special algorithms for carrying out iterative computations, they are more accurate than the closed-form formulas constructed from large-sample approximations with respect to the expected width and assurance probability criteria. This investigation notes the deficiency of existing methods and expands the sample size methodology for the design of reliability studies that have not previously been discussed in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)808-822
Number of pages15
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Intraclass correlation coefficient
  • Optimal design
  • Precision
  • Sample size

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