The Validation Crisis in Psychology
Keywords:construct validity, structural equation modeling, convergent validity, discriminant validity, measurement, nomological networks
Cronbach and Meehl (1955) introduced the concept of construct validity and described how researchers can demonstrate that their measures have construct validity. Although the term construct validity is widely used, few researchers follow Cronbach and Meehl’s recommendation to quantify construct validity with the help of nomological networks. As a result, the construct validity of many popular measures in psychology is unknown. I call for rigorous tests of construct validity that follow Cronbach and Meehl’s recommendations to improve psychology as a science. Without valid measures even replicable results are uninformative. I suggest that a proper program of validation research requires a multi-method approach and causal modeling of correlations with structural equation models. Construct validity should be quantified to enable cost-benefit analyses and to replace existing measures with better measures that have superior construct validity.
Copyright (c) 2021 Ulrich Schimmack
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