Clarifying the concept of validity: From measurement to everyday language

Faculty/Professorship: Foundations in Education  ; Psychological Methods of Educational Research  
Author(s): Borgstede, Matthias  ; Buntins, Katja; Eggert, Frank
By: Buntins, Matthias ; ...
Title of the Journal: Theory & psychology
ISSN: 0959-3543
Publisher Information: London : Sage
Year of publication: 2017
Volume: 27
Issue: 5
Pages: 703-710
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1177/0959354317702256
Test validity is widely understood as the degree to which a test measures what it should measure (cf. Cattell, 1946). We argue that this conceptualization does not refer to a psychometric problem but to the correspondence between scientific language and everyday language.
Following Steven’s (1946), test results give an operational definition of attributes, qualifying any test as valid by definition. Following the representational theory of measurement (Krantz, Luce, Suppes & Tversky, 1971), an attribute is defined by an empirical relational structure and a corresponding measurement model. Since measurement depends on the specified empirical structure, if a test measures anything, it must be valid.
However, the question of validity can be asked in a meaningful way, if one interprets test results in the context of everyday language. We conclude that validity can be understood as the degree to which the variable measured by a test corresponds to concepts of everyday language.
GND Keywords: Validität ; Test ; Wissenschaftssprache ; Umgangssprache
Keywords: Concept formation; Everyday language; Measurement theory; Psychometrics; Validity
DDC Classification: 150 Psychology  
RVK Classification: CM 3000   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 4. October 2019