• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Validity is the hallmark of quality for educational and psychological measurement. But what does quality mean in this context? And to what, exactly, does the concept of validity apply? These apparently innocuous questions parachute the unwary inquirer into a minefield of tricky ideas. This book guides you through this minefield, investigating how the concept of validity has evolved from the nineteenth century to the present day. Communicating complicated concepts straight forwardly, the authors answer questions like: What does ‘validity’ mean? What does it mean to ‘validate’? How many different kinds of validity are there? When does validation begin and end? Is reliability a part of validity, or distinct from it? This book will be of interest to anyone with a professional or academic interest in evaluating the quality of educational or psychological assessments, measurements and diagnoses.

The Fragmentation of Validity: 1952–1974
The Fragmentation of Validity: 1952–1974

The diversity of approaches to conceptualizing validity during the early years makes it hard to characterize the period succinctly. This resistance to characterization is likely to have been just as confusing for measurement professionals of the era as it is to us now. With such a variety of approaches to validation to choose from, and with even the experts valuing those approaches quite differently, how on earth were test developers and publishers to decide what information on test quality they needed to make available to consumers? More disconcertingly, in the absence of agreement on principles of best practice, how were test developers and publishers to be held to account?

Between 1950 and 1954, the American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Test Standards, chaired by Lee Cronbach, ...

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