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Construct validity is the extent to which an assessment tool measures what it is intended to measure. It is particularly important for research that concerns inferred entities or variables that cannot be directly observed. Psychological researchers often study inferred entities. Consider first the contrasting case of an engineer, who might wish to calculate how much weight a certain structure can hold. The construct of weight can be directly measured. That is, if one wishes to assess an object’s weight, one can do so by placing that object on a scale. A psychologist, though, might wish to assess anxiety. How does one measure anxiety? It cannot be weighed on a scale. It cannot be seen, heard, or held in one’s hand.

A challenge, therefore, arises when ...

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