Methods of Validity in Test Construction


Week 6 Assignment: Discuss Methods of Validity in Test Construction

Activity Description

In 2002, Boholst constructed a Life Position Scale for the purpose of finishing his dissertation. The construct life position was one of the variables he studied in his doctoral dissertation titled, The Influence of Life Scripts and Life Positions on Psychopathology and Positive Mental Health: A Structural Equation Modeling. He had to construct this scale because there was no available one at the time. In 2005, he and two other authors wrote another article that found modest correlations between Life Positions and Attachment Styles—validating the scale by establishing the relationship between life positions and a variable that was theoretically argued to have conceptual parallels or to be “similar” with it. In 2012, Isgor and two other authors translated the Life Position Scale into Turkish and established its reliability and validity.

This is often a realistic scenario where a tool slowly attains credibility by a gradual validation process across the years—often by different authors. For example, in 2004, Weisner wrote his doctoral dissertation in the University of North Texas on the relationship between Affective Traits and Life Positions. Hadzi-Pesic and others more recently (2014) validated the Life Position Scale and found correlations with alcohol addicts’ personality.

For this task, write a paper that addresses the following:

Discuss the different types of validity that have been employed—whether implicitly or explicitly to validate the life position scale. It is ideal therefore to read articles in chronological order starting with the A Life Position Scale, Life Positions and Attachment: A Canonical Correlation Analysis, and Life Positions Scale Language Equivalence, Reliability and Validity Analysis.

Length: 7 pages, not including title and reference pages

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

Learning Outcomes

5.0   Evaluate the different approaches to instrument validation.

6.0   Discriminate methods of establishing criterion or predictive validity.

Techniques and Phases of Scale Construction > Week 6

Week: 6



While an instrument may be reliable it does not necessarily follow that it is valid. A reliable instrument could be “reliably” erroneous! Validity on the other hand, however, necessitates that the instrument be first reliable because an inconsistent set of scores on a psychological scale can never claim to capture the construct it is trying to measure. Instrument validity has often been defined as the capacity of a scale to measure the construct it claims to measure. How do I know, for instance, that the depression scale I constructed really measures depression and not another variable such as loneliness? Well, I could ask a psychiatrist to provide me with a group of patients diagnosed with depression, gather another group of non-depressed individuals, administer my scale, cross my fingers, and hope that the former group would score higher than the latter. What method of validation would you call that? Or I could correlate my depression scale with an entirely unrelated variable such as monthly salary and with a slightly related variable such as loneliness. I should then hope that depression will have very low correlation with salary and a moderate correlation with loneliness. How would you call that method?

For this week, you will read material on the different methods of establishing instrument validity.