Different Types of Psychological Assessment Validity

The three aspects of validity that do have an impact on the practical usefulness of the psychometric assessment method are as follows:

Construct validity is the theoretical focus of validity and is the extent to which performance on the test fits into the theoretical scheme and research already established on the attribute or construct the test is trying to measure.  Construct validity is about whether the test fits into the wider theoretical scheme

  • In essence, it is the extent to which a test fits into the wider research picture the more we are able to confer construct validity onto the assessment method or test. 
  • Typically test makers research data from the same participants on a number of tests attempting to measure similar constructs.
  • Creating a picture of construct validity can take considerable time and complex statistical analysis such as factor analysis. 

Concurrent validity is the relationship between test scores and some criterion measure of job performance or training performance at the same time.

  • Both the test scores and the job aspect being measured being collected at the same time. 
  • This type of validity is usually used with internal employees and can be useful to assess skill status and future training requirements.

Predictive validity is about whether a test can predict some meaningful future outcome accuratelyPredictive validity (Criterion Related Validity) is the extent to which a test or questionnaire predicts some future or desired outcome, for example work behaviour or on-the-job performance. 

This validity has obvious importance in personnel selection, recruitment and development. 

Faking can impact on a tools predictive validity and other measurement properties - read more about faking..read more about faking of personality assessments

Or Read more about the Predictive Validity of different methods, and multiple methods..read more about predictive validity of different methods.

The two less relevant aspects of validity are:

Face validity of a test or method concerns the look and feel of the assessment items and whether an applicant can see any relevance of the test or assessment method to the job or role concerned. 

  • Whilst a test with high face validity may make the person taking the test feel more comfortable with the test as it seems related to the job or role, it is not related at all to theFace Validity test being a good measure or sound test.
  • High Face Validity does not in any way infer that the test is actually predictive of something useful, like on the job performance. 
  • Unfortunately, some test makers push that high face validity is ideal, without pointing out the drawbacks of high face validity. 
  • The drawback has a serious impact on the information you get from the individual and its usefulness - it makes the test or assessment much easier to fake or manipulate.

Content validity of a test is concerned with how well a test samples the behavioural domain it is trying to measure. 

  • For example should you want to measure general numerical ability and the test items were only multiplication equations, this would have poor content validity as the items are not representative of all the aspects that make up general numerical ability.
  • Often a detailed job analysis is required to establish content validity and this is something that is usually not available. 
  • It also becomes more complicated for more complex constructs such as intelligence and self esteem, as it is not easy to decide on the criteria that constitute content validity.  So, like face validity, content validity is not usually the main focus of psychologists.

NZ Psychological Society
SIOP - Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology
ITC - International
Testing Commision

NZ Association of Psychological Type
APA - American Psychological Association

































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