• 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 Genesis Of Validity: Mid-1800s–1951
The Genesis Of Validity: Mid-1800s–1951

This chapter explores the period that we describe as the ‘early years’ as far as validity is concerned, which can be divided into a gestational period from the mid-1800s–1920, and a period of crystallization from 1921–1951.

A gestational period (pre-1921)

The emergence of validity as a formal concept of educational and psychological measurement can only be understood in the context of major developments in testing for educational, clinical, occupational and scientific purposes which occurred during the second half of the 19th century, and the first half of the 20th century, particularly in England, France, Germany and the USA.

The second half of the 19th century was a period during which school and university entrance examinations blossomed. The University of London was established in 1836 to set and regulate ...

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