Distinguishing Reliability & Credibility

Reliability vs Credibility

At first glance, reliability and credibility may seem to have similar meanings, which can make it difficult to differentiate between the two. These terms are often used when discussing people, laws, and various information sources. We might question the reliability of a source or the credibility of a story. While these two concepts share some similarities, they are not identical in meaning. Credibility refers to whether something can be believed as true and accurate, while reliability pertains to being able to trust and rely on someone or something. Although the two terms are somewhat similar, they are not synonymous. This article aims to clarify the differences between the two words.

What does Credibility mean?

When examining the term “credible,” it can be defined as the ability to be believed. To better understand this concept, consider the following example: You meet a friend at a cafeteria after a long time, and they tell you about their new job, which seems almost too good to be true. Afterward, you might share the story with a family member and comment on your friend’s new job as an exaggerated version of reality or even a made-up tale. In this case, you are questioning the credibility of the information you received by analyzing the facts at hand. If the information seems out of context or false, we consider it lacking credibility. If it appears plausible and believable, we label it as credible. Thus, when using the term “credibility,” one must consider whether the information can be believed or not.

What does Reliability mean?

The term “reliability” signifies dependability, trust, and faith in someone or something. Unlike credibility, reliability is less concerned with whether the information is believable. To help illustrate this difference, consider this example: “I rely on your good counsel.” In this instance, the speaker is expressing their dependence on the advice of the person they are addressing. It also highlights the trust the speaker has in the individual being addressed. Similar sentiments are expressed when we say, “I rely on you,” “on her,” or “on him.” For instance, stating, “She is a very reliable person,” means that the person is trustworthy and dependable. From these explanations, it is clear that reliability focuses more on being able to depend on, trust, or rely on someone or something, whereas credibility is about whether something can be believed.

Key Takeaways

  • Credibility refers to whether something can be believed as true and accurate.
  • Reliability pertains to being able to trust and rely on someone or something.
  • If a piece of information is reliable, it is also credible; however, the credibility of information does not always guarantee its reliability.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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