Construct validity

Construct validity

In science (e.g. social sciences and psychometrics), construct validity refers to whether a scale measures or correlates with the theorized psychological scientific construct (e.g., "fluid intelligence") that it purports to measure. In other words, it is the extent to which what was to be measured was actually measured. It is related to the theoretical ideas behind the trait under consideration, i.e. the concepts that organize how aspects of personality, intelligence, etc. are viewed.[1] The scale seeks to operationalize the concept, typically measuring several observable phenomena that supposedly reflect the underlying psychological concept. Construct validity is a means of assessing how well this has been accomplished. In lay terms, construct validity answers the question: "Are we actually measuring (are these means a valid form for measuring) what (the construct) we think we are measuring?"

A construct is not restricted to one set of observable indicators or attributes. It is common to a number of sets of indicators. Thus, "construct validity" can be evaluated by statistical methods that show whether or not a common factor can be shown to exist underlying several measurements using different observable indicators. This view of a construct rejects the operationist past that a construct is neither more nor less than the operations used to measure it.

Evaluation of construct validity requires that the correlations of the measure be examined in regards to variables that are known to be related to the construct (purportedly measured by the instrument being evaluated or for which there are theoretical grounds for expecting it to be related). This is consistent with the multitrait-multimethod matrix of examining construct validity described in Campbell and Fiske's landmark paper (1959).[2] Correlations that fit the expected pattern contribute evidence of construct validity. Construct validity is a judgment based on the accumulation of correlations from numerous studies using the instrument being evaluated.

There are variants of construct validity:


  1. ^ Pennington, Donald (2003). Essential Personality. Arnold. pp. 37. ISBN 0340761180. 
  2. ^ Campbell, D. T. (1959). Convergent and discriminant validation by the multitrait-multimethod matrix.. Psychological Bulletin. pp. 81–105. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • construct validity — konstrukcijos pagrįstumas statusas T sritis biomedicinos mokslai atitikmenys: angl. construct validity ryšiai: platesnis terminas – matavimo pagrįstumas šaltinis Pagrindinės epidemiologijos sąvokos : mokomasis žodynas / Kauno medicinos… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • construct validity — the degree to which an instrument measures the characteristic being investigated; the extent to which the conceptual definition matches the operational definition …   Medical dictionary

  • Validity (statistics) — In psychology, validity has two distinct fields of application. The first involves test validity, a concept that has evolved with the field of psychometrics but which textbooks still commonly gloss over in explaining that it is the degree to… …   Wikipedia

  • validity — The property of being genuine, a true reflection of attitudes, behaviour, or characteristics. A measure (such as a question, series of questions, or test) is considered valid if it is thought to measure the concept or property which it claims to… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Construct (philosophy of science) — An object s center of mass is certainly a real thing, but it is a construct (not another object) A construct in the philosophy of science is an ideal object, where the existence of the thing may be said to depend upon a subject s mind. This, as… …   Wikipedia

  • validity — An index of how well a test or procedure in fact measures what it purports to measure; an objective index by which to describe how valid a test or procedure is. concurrent v. an index of criterion related v. used to predict performance in a real… …   Medical dictionary

  • Content validity — In psychometrics, content validity (also known as logical validity) refers to the extent to which a measure represents all facets of a given social construct. For example, a depression scale may lack content validity if it only assesses the… …   Wikipedia

  • Concurrent validity — is a parameter used in sociology, psychology, and other psychometric or behavioral sciences. Concurrent validity is demonstrated where a test correlates well with a measure that has previously been validated. The two measures may be for the same… …   Wikipedia

  • Convergent validity — Convergent validity, is the degree to which an operation is similar to (converges on) other operations that it theoretically should also be similar to. For instance, to show the convergent validity of a test of mathematics skills, the scores on… …   Wikipedia

  • Discriminant validity — describes the degree to which the operationalization is not similar to (diverges from) other operationalizations that it theoretically should not be similar to. Campbell and Fiske (1959) introduced the concept of discriminant validity within… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”