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Ecological Validity

Ecological validity is the degree to which test performance predicts behaviors in real-world settings. Today, psychologists are called upon by attorneys, insurance agencies, vocational rehabilitation counselors, and employers to draw inferences about clients’ cognitive capacities and their implications in real-world settings from psychological tests. These demands have accentuated the importance of ecological validity. Originally, neuropsychological tests were created as tools for detecting and localizing neuropathology. The diagnostic utility of such assessment instruments decreased with the development of brain-imaging techniques, and neuropsychology shifted its focus toward identifying the practical implications of brain pathology. Society's increasing interest in clients’ everyday abilities has necessitated further research into the ecological validity of psychological and neuropsychological tests. The dimensions, applications, limitations, and implications of ecological validity are discussed in this ...

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