Validity is one of several technical qualities that are attributed to the inferences drawn from measures of psychological, behavioral, and physical phenomena. Validity is the degree to which empirical evidence and theory buttress test score interpretations. Along with reliability, validity is regarded as a critically important attribute of test scores. Validity and reliability are initially addressed during the development of a test and are further refined and documented throughout its life using information from newly conducted studies and logical and statistical analyses. Claims about the performance of an individual, project, or program that are based on test scores that lack evidence of validity are considered unsound. Since the mid-1950s, the concept of test validity has been reconceived several times. The focus of this entry is ...

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