Types of Test Validities

Several types of validity are taken into account when examining a psychological test. The three types of interest are construct validity, criterion-related validity, and content validity.

Let’s look at each of them individually:

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Types of Test Validities
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  • Face validity is a measure of whether or not the test looks like it measures what it is supposed to measure. In other words, someone taking the test would not be confused that it is measuring something different.
  • Construct validity means that the scores on the test are an accurate measure of the construct being measured. For example, do the scores on a new IQ test give an accurate measure of IQ
  • Criterion-related validity is observed when a test can effectively predict indicators of a construct. Within the umbrella of criterion-related validity, there are two subtypes: concurrent validity and predictive validity.
  • Concurrent validity can be measured when you have another test of the same criterion to compare scores to at the time the test is administered. If both tests gave the same measure of the criterion, then there is concurrent validity.
  • Predictive validity is used to determine if test scores accurately predict performance on a criterion at a later time. For example, if I give a test measuring how often you check your email during an hour period, and you have the same number of times checking email during any hour in the future, then the test has predictive validity.
  • Content validity measures how well your test measures all aspects of the construct you are trying to measure.
  • External validity is an indicator of whether or not your measurement of a construct in one sample group is similar to the same measurement in a different sample group.


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