Argument-Based Approach to Validity

Assessments (measures and tests) are used to assign values to attributes of people (or groups of people or objects). The assessment typically involves a limited sample of the person’s behavior collected under standardized conditions, while the attribute of interest is defined much more broadly. The need for validation arises from this gap between the observed assessment results (i.e., a score) and the more general claims associated with the attribute being assessed (e.g., level of reading achievement). Validation examines how well the claims based on the assessment scores are justified.

Rather than defining validity as an abstract property of an assessment, the argument-based approach treats validation as an evaluation of the plausibility of the interpretation and uses proposed for the assessment scores. It employs two kinds of ...

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