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Lee J. Cronbach (1916 - 2001) was an American educational psychologist who made significant contributions to psychological testing and measurement. Born in Fresno, California, Cronbach received a bachelor's degree from Fresno State College and a master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1940, he received a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Chicago. After teaching mathematics and chemistry at Fresno High School, Cronbach took faculty positions at the State College of Washington, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois, finally settling at Stanford University in 1964. Cronbach was the president of the American Psychological Association, president of the American Educational Research Association, and Vida Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University.

Cronbach is most famous for the development of Cronbach's alpha, a method for determining the reliability of educational and psychological tests. His work on test reliability reached an acme with the creation of generalizability theory, a statistical model for identifying and quantifying the sources of measurement error.

See also



Book Chapters


  • Cronbach, L.J. (1957) The Two Disciplines in Psychology. American Psychologist, 12, 671-684.Full text APA Presidential address

Further reading

Kupermintz, H. (2003). Lee J. Cronbach's contributions to educational psychology. In B. J. Zimmerman and D. H. Schunk (Eds.). Educational psychology: A century of contributions, pp. 289-302. Mahwah, NJ, US: Erlbaum.

External links

Preceded by:
Theodore Newcombe
Lee Cronbach elected APA President
Succeeded by:
Harry Harlow

Preceded by:
Nathaniel Gage
President of the

American Educational Research Association

Succeeded by:
Benjamin Bloom
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