Published in New Developments in Quantitative Psychology, at DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-9348-8__2.

The final publication is available at


Data sets in the social and behavioral sciences are often small or heavytailed. Previous studies have demonstrated that small samples or leptokurtic distributions adversely affect the performance of Cronbach’s coefficient alpha. To address these concerns, we propose an alternative estimator of reliability based on Lcomoments. The empirical results of this study demonstrate that when sample sizes are small and distributions are heavy-tailed that the proposed coefficient L-alpha has substantial advantages over the conventional Cronbach estimator of reliability in terms of relative bias and relative standard error.