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Construct Validity is the extent to which a

test measures a theoretical construct.

Two Points to Remember
A test user implicitly accepts the definition
of the construct used by those who
developed and validated the test.
When you use a test for a construct such as
Creativity, you are not measuring
creativity as such but behaviors the test
developer decided would count as indicators
of creativity.
An Example of Construct
Self Efficacy
This abstract construct was proposed by
Albert Bandura (1977):
Expectations of personal efficacy determine
whether coping behavior will be initiated, how
much effort will be expended, and how long it
will be sustained in the face of obstacles and
aversive experiences (p. 191).

Sources of Self-Efficacy
Performance Accomplishments
Vicarious Experience: Watching others
Verbal Persuasion: Messages received from
Emotional Arousal: Anxiety or attention
Construct Explication
There are three steps for defining or
explaining a psychological construct:
Identify the behaviors that relate to the
Identify other constructs that may be related
to the construct being explained.
Identify behaviors related to similar
A Nomological Network
A Nomological (law-like) network involves
illustrating a constructs relation to as many
other constructs and behaviors as possible.
The nomological network provides the basis
for a number of hypotheses about the
behaviors that people who have people who
have more or less quantities of a construct
should display.
An example of a nomological
network for intelligence
We would expect that tested intelligence
would be related to:
Academic Achievement as measured by GPA
Tests designed to measure creativity.
A Nomological Network for
We would expect people with high self
efficacy to:
express positive attitudes regarding their own
Display persistence in accomplishing a new and
difficult task
Establishing evidence of
construct validity is the
process of testing the
predictions made by the
nomological network
Summary Points
1. Construct Explication is the basis for
establishing a tests construct validity.
-A construct must be part of a theory that
defines the construct in observable and
measurable term.
2. A nomological network: defines a construct by
illustrating its relation to other constructs and
Gathering Evidence of
Construct Validity
Gathering theoretical evidence:
Establishing a nomological network
Propose experimental hypotheses.
Gathering Psychometric Evidence

Gathering Psychometric

Gathering Psychometric Evidence:
Convergent Validity
Discriminant Validity
Experimental Interventions
Content Validity
Criterion-Related validity
To show a test measures a single theoretical
construct there should be evidence of
internal consistency (or homogeneity).
Test-retest reliability is also important, to
ensure that the theoretical predictions hold
true over time.
Convergent Validity
Convergent Validity is a strong correlation
between the test and other tests measuring
the same or similar constructs
Example: We would expect that two measures
of general self-efficacy to yield strong, positive,
and statistically significant correlations. They
might also correlate with scores of task specific
tests, such as mathematical or managerial self
Related Constructs
Convergent validity is also established
when there are positive correlations with
measures of constructs that the underlying
theory says are related.
Example Self-efficacy theory suggests that self-
efficacy is related to competency.
Discriminant Validity
When the test scores are not correlated with
unrelated constructs, there is evidence of
discriminant validity.
Example: There would probably be an
insignificant correlation between self-efficacy
and artistic aptitude
Multitrait-Multimethod Method
In 1959, Campbell and Fisk cleverly
combined the need to collect evidence of
reliability, convergent validity, and
discriminant validity in one study.
The Logic of Multitrait-
Multimethod Design
This design allows investigators to test for:
convergence across different measuresof the
same thingand for divergence between
measuresof related but conceptually distinct
things (Cook & Campbell, 1979, p 61).

Implementing Multitrait-
Multimethod Measures
The researcher chooses three constructs that
are unrelated in theory and three types of
testssuch as objective, projective, and a
peer ratingto measure each of the
In this way, data are collected on each
participant in the study on each construct
using each method.
Interpreting Multitrait-
Multimethod Matrix
One would look forand expect to find
high reliability estimates for each measure,
high validity coefficients for tests with
different formats measuring the same
construct, and low correlation coefficients
for tests with different formats measuring
different constructs.