Construct validation in social and personality research: Current practice and recommendations.

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The verity of results about a psychological construct hinges on the validity of its measurement, making construct validation a fundamental methodology to the scientific process. We reviewed a representative sample of articles published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology for construct validity evidence. We report that latent variable measurement, in which responses to items are used to represent a construct, is pervasive in social and personality research. However, the field does not appear to be engaged in best practices for ongoing construct validation. We found that validity evidence of existing and author-developed scales was lacking, with coefficient a often being the only psychometric evidence reported. We provide a discussion of why the construct validation framework is important for social and personality researchers and recommendations for improving practice.

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Type of resources: Primary Source, Reading, Paper

Education level(s): College / Upper Division (Undergraduates)

Primary user(s): Student

Subject area(s): Math & Statistics

Language(s): English