The Introduction of Construct Validity to the Assessment Field: An Historical Analysis
Construct validity was introduced into the field of psychological assessment during the mid 1950s in response to several pressing problems. This type of validity formalized the requirement that psychological tests be considered instruments of psychological theory. The historical record was reviewed to reveal that the concept was introduced with no formal, open debate. Critical analysis of the idea arrived only after the concept had gained considerable popularity. Despite some telling criticisms, as well as some significant changes in the discipline since the mid ‘50s, the concept has remained ascendant in the field. It is suggested that this resilience reflects the strength of several metatheoretic assumptions of the field, and that some of the problems plaguing contemporary personality assessment can be traced to the uncritical adoption of the concept of construct validity.
KeywordsConstruct Validity Psychological Theory Psychological Test Personality Test Open Debate
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