Construct validity
In science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 (e.g. social sciences and psychometrics
Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement, which includes the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits, and educational measurement...

), construct validity refers to whether a scale
Scale (social sciences)
In the social sciences, scaling is the process of measuring or ordering entities with respect to quantitative attributes or traits. For example, a scaling technique might involve estimating individuals' levels of extraversion, or the perceived quality of products...

 measures or correlates with the theorized psychological scientific construct
Construct (philosophy of science)
A construct in the philosophy of science is an ideal object, where the existence of the thing may be said to depend upon a subject's mind. This, as opposed to a "real" object, where existence does not seem to depend on the existence of a mind....

 (e.g., "fluid intelligence") that it purports to measure. In other words, it is the extent to which what was to be measured was actually measured. It is related to the theoretical ideas behind the trait
Trait theory
In psychology, Trait theory is a major approach to the study of human personality. Trait theorists are primarily interested in the measurement of traits, which can be defined as habitual patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion. According to this perspective, traits are relatively stable over...

 under consideration, i.e. the concepts that organize how aspects of personality, intelligence, etc. are viewed. The scale seeks to operationalize the concept, typically measuring several observable phenomena that supposedly reflect the underlying psychological concept. Construct validity is a means of assessing how well this has been accomplished. In lay terms, construct validity answers the question: "Are we actually measuring (are these means a valid form for measuring) what (the construct) we think we are measuring?"

A construct is not restricted to one set of observable indicators or attributes. It is common to a number of sets of indicators. Thus, "construct validity
Validity (statistics)
In science and statistics, validity has no single agreed definition but generally refers to the extent to which a concept, conclusion or measurement is well-founded and corresponds accurately to the real world. The word "valid" is derived from the Latin validus, meaning strong...

" can be evaluated by statistical methods
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

 that show whether or not a common factor can be shown to exist underlying several measurements using different observable indicators. This view of a construct rejects the operationist past that a construct is neither more nor less than the operations used to measure it.

Evaluation of construct validity requires that the correlation
In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence....

s of the measure be examined in regards to variables that are known to be related to the construct (purportedly measured by the instrument being evaluated or for which there are theoretical grounds for expecting it to be related). This is consistent with the multitrait-multimethod matrix
Multitrait-multimethod matrix
The multitrait-multimethod matrix is an approach to examining Construct Validity developed by Campbell and Fiske. There are six major considerations when examining a construct's validity through the MTMM matrix, which are as follows:...

 of examining construct validity described in Campbell
Donald T. Campbell
Donald Thomas Campbell was an American social scientist. He is noted for his work in methodology. He coined the term "evolutionary epistemology" and developed a selectionist theory of human creativity.- Biography :...

 and Fiske's
Donald W. Fiske
Donald W. Fiske was a nationally recognized psychologist with specialty in methodological issues in personality, ability, and trait research. He was, with Donald T. Campbell, co-author of a landmark paper regarding the Multitrait-Multimethod approach to evaluating construct validity. He died April...

 landmark paper (1959). Correlations that fit the expected pattern contribute evidence of construct validity. Construct validity is a judgment based on the accumulation of correlations from numerous studies using the instrument being evaluated.

There are variants of construct validity:
  • content validity
    Content validity
    In psychometrics, content validity refers to the extent to which a measure represents all facets of a given social construct. For example, a depression scale may lack content validity if it only assesses the affective dimension of depression but fails to take into account the behavioral dimension...

  • convergent validity
    Convergent validity
    Convergent validity, is the degree to which an operation is similar to other operations that it theoretically should also be similar to. For instance, to show the convergent validity of a test of mathematics skills, the scores on the test can be correlated with scores on other tests that are also...

  • discriminant validity
    Discriminant validity
    In psychology, discriminant validity tests whether concepts or measurements that are supposed to be unrelated are, in fact, unrelated.Campbell and Fiske introduced the concept of discriminant validity within their discussion on evaluating test validity. They stressed the importance of using both...

    , and
  • nomological validity
    Nomological validity
    Nomological validity is a form of construct validity. It is the degree to which a construct behaves as it should within a system of related constructs called a nomological net....

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