Anastasi Lecture 2010

Construct Validity Reconsidered: The Paradigm Shift in Educational and Psychological Testing

Susan Embretson, Georgia Institute of Technlogy

November 2, 2010 | 5:30 pm
12th-floor Lounge | Lowenstein Center | Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus | 30 West 60th Street | New York, NY 10023

The primary criterion used to evaluate the quality of an educational or psychological test is construct validity. Anastasi’s (1988) award wining textbook Psychological Testing set the standard for concepts of validity for more than one generation of psychologists. However, in recent years testing practices have been changing dramatically. Not only are standards-based, rather than norm-based, concepts becoming prevalent, the conditions under which tests are administered are becoming increasingly non-standardized. Can the concept of construct validity accommodate these changes? This presentation considers the various aspects of the shifting paradigm in testing and their implications for the concept of construct validity.

Susan E. Embretson is Professor of Psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Professor Embretson has been recognized nationally and internationally for her programmatic research on integrating cognitive theory into psychometric models and test design. She was the 1994-1997 recipient of the Technical and Scientific Contribution Award from the National Council on Measurement and Education. In 2001, she received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Psychological Association Division (5) for Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics for research and theory on item generation from cognitive theory. She has served as president for three societies in her area of specialization: the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology (1998), the Psychometric Society (1999) and the American Psychological Association Division (5) for Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics. She authored a best selling graduate textbook Item Response Theory forPpsychologists (2000, with S. Reise), as well as several edited volumes on measurement and test design. Her research is focused on implementation of cognitive design principles into large-volume testing, including standards-based tests.