Reliability of reliability coefficients in the estimation of asymmetry

S. J. Fields, M. Spiers, I. Hershkovitz, G. Livshits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Although promising to provide insight into the interaction between genotype and environment, investigations into fluctuating asymmetry suffer from a lack of standardization in the reporting of measurement error. In the present paper we show, using both anthropometric and odonto‐metric data, that the use of the reliability coefficient calculated for a bilateral measurement provides no indication of the reliability of the corresponding asymmetry estimate, because reliability of asymmetry depends on the relationship between measurement error and the difference between sides. Thus, we suggest that future investigations either provide reliability coefficients for asymmetry estimates specifically, or use methods that account for measurement error. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthopometric data
  • Measurement error
  • Odontometric data


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