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Frontiers of Test Validity Theory

Book Description

This book examines test validity in the behavioral, social, and educational sciences by exploring three fundamental problems: measurement, causation and meaning. Psychometric and philosophical perspectives receive attention along with unresolved issues. The authors explore how measurement is conceived from both the classical and modern perspectives. The importance of understanding the underlying concepts as well as the practical challenges of test construction and use receive emphasis throughout. The book summarizes the current state of the test validity theory field. Necessary background on test theory and statistics is presented as a conceptual overview where needed.

Each chapter begins with an overview of key material reviewed in previous chapters, concludes with a list of suggested readings, and features boxes with examples that connect theory to practice. These examples reflect actual situations that occurred in psychology, education, and other disciplines in the US and around the globe, bringing theory to life. Critical thinking questions related to the boxed material engage and challenge readers. A few examples include:

What is the difference between intelligence and IQ?

Can people disagree on issues of value but agree on issues of test validity?

Is it possible to ask the same question in two different languages?

The first part of the book contrasts theories of measurement as applied to the validity of behavioral science measures.The next part considers causal theories of measurement in relation to alternatives such as behavior domain sampling, and then unpacks the causal approach in terms of alternative theories of causation.The final section explores the meaning and interpretation of test scores as it applies to test validity. Each set of chapters opens with a review of the key theories and literature and concludes with a review of related open questions in test validity theory. 

Researchers, practitioners and policy makers interested in test validity or developing tests appreciate the book's cutting edge review of test validity. The book also serves as a supplement in graduate or advanced undergraduate courses on test validity, psychometrics, testing or measurement taught in psychology, education, sociology, social work, political science, business, criminal justice and other fields. The book does not assume a background in measurement.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Table of Contents
  6. About the Authors
  7. Preface
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. 1. Introduction: Surveying the Field of Test Validity Theory
    1. 1.1. Terminology
    2. 1.2. The Development of Test Validity Theory
    3. 1.3. Measurement, Causation, Meaning, and Test Validity
    4. 1.4. Further Reading
  10. Part I:
    1. 2. Philosophical Theories of Measurement
      1. 2.1. The Classical Theory of Measurement
      2. 2.2. Addition and Concatenation
      3. 2.3. The Representational Theory of Measurement: Stevens’ Version
      4. 2.4. The Representational Theory of Measurement: The Axiomatic Approach
      5. 2.5. The Latent Variable Perspective
      6. 2.6. Chapter Conclusion
      7. 2.7. Further Reading
    2. 3. Psychometric Models
      1. 3.1. Psychometric Models
      2. 3.2. Test Scores, Constructs, and Validity
      3. 3.3. The Relation Between Validity and Other Psychometric Concepts
      4. 3.4. Chapter Conclusion
      5. 3.5. Further Reading
    3. 4. Open Issues in Measurement Theory and Psychometrics
      1. 4.1. Measurement and the Structure of Psychological Attributes
      2. 4.2. Measurement and Probabilistic Models
      3. 4.3. A Possible Reconciliation Between Theories of Measurement
      4. 4.4. Is Measurement Necessary in Psychological Testing?
      5. 4.5. Chapter Conclusion
      6. 4.6. Further Reading
  11. Part II:
    1. 5. Test Scores as Samples: Behavior Domain Theory
      1. 5.1. Conceptualizing Domain Scores
      2. 5.2. The Item Writing Argument for Behavior Domain Theory
      3. 5.3. The Distinctness Argument Against Domain Score Causation
      4. 5.4. Reconciling Behavior Domains and Causal Theories of Measurement
      5. 5.5. Chapter Conclusion
      6. 5.6. Further Reading
    2. 6. Causality in Measurement
      1. 6.1. Causal Structures
      2. 6.2. Implications for Validity Theory
      3. 6.3. Direct, Indirect, and Mixed Models
      4. 6.4. Other Structures
      5. 6.5. Chapter Conclusion
      6. 6.6. Further Reading
    3. 7. Causation, Correlation, and Reflective Measurement Models
      1. 7.1. Reflective Measurement With and Without Causation
      2. 7.2. Statistical Unidimensionality versus Causal Unidimensionality
      3. 7.3. Three General Theories of Causation
      4. 7.4. Reflective Measurement Models with Different Causal Interpretations
      5. 7.5. Chapter Conclusion
      6. 7.6. Further Reading
    4. 8. Problems in Causation and Validity: Formative Measurement, Networks, and Individual Differences
      1. 8.1. Formative Measurement Models and Causation
      2. 8.2. Network Measurement Models
      3. 8.3. Causation and Individual Differences
      4. 8.4. Validating Causal Measurement Models
      5. 8.5. Chapter Conclusion
      6. 8.6. Further Reading
  12. Part III:
    1. 9. Interpreting Test Responses: Validity, Values, and Evaluation
      1. 9.1. Messick’s Unified View of Validity
      2. 9.2. Historical Context and Recent Literature
      3. 9.3. Shadish, Cook, and Campbell’s Critique
      4. 9.4. Scriven’s Critique
      5. 9.5. Searl’s Naturalistic-Fallacy Fallacy
      6. 9.6. Putnam’s Critique of the Fact/Value Dichotomy
      7. 9.7. Conceptualizing Test Validity and its Consequences
      8. 9.8. Chapter Conclusion
      9. 9.9. Further Reading
    2. 10. A Model of Test Score Interpretation
      1. 10.1. Focal Example: Tuna Cleaner Work Sample
      2. 10.2. Interpretation and Entailment: Construct Theories as Inference Engines
      3. 10.3. Interpretations of Test Scores
      4. 10.4. Chapter Conclusion
      5. 10.5. Further Reading
    3. 11. Open Questions About Test Score Meaning
      1. 11.1. The Psychologist’s Fallacy and Test Score Interpretation
      2. 11.2. Meaning’s in the Heads of Test Takers?
      3. 11.3. Heteroglossia: Speaking in Diverse Tongues
      4. 11.4. Test Takers and Their Beliefs
      5. 11.5. Validity Without Determinate Meaning
      6. 11.6. Chapter Conclusion
      7. 11.7. Further Reading
  13. Part IV:
    1. 12. An Integrative View of Test Validity
      1. 12.1. An Integrative Model of Test Validation
      2. 12.2. Truth, Justification, Knowledge, and Action
      3. 12.3. Kinds of Causality and Types of Evidence
      4. 12.4. Justification Through Alignment
      5. 12.5. Knowledge, Value, and Action
      6. 12.6. Chapter Conclusion
    2. 13. Epilogue as Dialog: The Future of Test Validity Theory
      1. 13.1. Test Validation Methods
      2. 13.2. Test Validity Theory and Meaning
      3. 13.3. The Yardstick by Which Validation is Judged (If There is One)
      4. 13.4. Validity and Response Processes
      5. 13.5. Attributes
      6. 13.6. Tests and Interpretations
      7. 13.7. Chapter Conclusion
  14. Notes
  15. References
  16. Author Index
  17. Subject Index
  18. Example Index