Validity refers to the correctness of the inferences that one makes based on the results of some kind of measurement. That is, when we measure something, we need to ask whether the measurements we have taken accurately and completely reflect what we intended to measure. For example, inferences about individual differences in people’s height based on the observed scores generated from the use of a (normal) tape measure or ruler are highly valid. When used appropriately, the application of the tape measure will generate observed measurements (e.g., inches, millimeters, feet) that correspond closely to actual differences in height.

Common Misconceptions

It is common to hear people refer to the “validity of the test,” which might give the impression that validity is a property of the measurement device. ...

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