Hypothetical Constructs and Intervening Variables

  • Michael Hyland


Theoretical terms in psychology are used to describe characteristics of individuals. Of course, individuals can be described atheoretically: one can describe observable characteristics such as height, weight, or physiological response whilst making as few theoretical assumptions about these observables as possible. However, atheoretical characterisations of individuals are very limited and so when describing the individual it is common to make explicit theoretical assumptions. The observable characteristics are taken merely as indicators of the underlying theoretical concepts.


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Further Reading

  1. MacCorquodale, K. and Meehl, P. E., On a distinction between hypothetical constructs and intervening variables. Psychological Review, 1948, 55, 95–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cronbach, K. and Meehl, P. E., Construct validity in psychological tests. Psychological Bulletin, 1955, 52, 281–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael Hyland 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Hyland
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyPlymouth PolytechnicUK

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