Construct Validity

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David Trafimow


Validity of measurement is crucial for conducting useful aviation research, and many have emphasized the importance of a particular type of validity, construct validity. However, despite this emphasis, few researchers understand that which construct validity entails, and believe that merely establishing a nice factor structure is sufficient. It is not, as is exemplified by Cronbach and Meehl’s (1955) classic insistence on establishing a nomological network that intersects with observations at a variety of points. Thus, the first goal is to explain construct validity in simple language that also clarifies the seldom addressed topic of what a hypothetical construct is in the first place. The second goal, however, is to explore construct validity criticisms and their implications. This section features a potentially competing type of validity termed auxiliary validity, that can be argued more useful than construct validity. However, if researchers are to continue to emphasize construct validity, they should understand what it entails.

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