Validity is a central concept in social science research. At the broadest level, validity refers to the extent to which a claim, result, inference, or argument is well founded. In the social sciences, the term validity is often (but not exclusively) used in reference to educational and psychological measurement and assessment, where it is frequently referred to as the most fundamental consideration in developing and evaluating tests. However, despite wide agreement regarding its importance, there is no single conception of validity universally accepted in the scholarly and professional communities, and there remains considerable controversy surrounding the definition of validity and many related concepts and terms.

This entry introduces the topic of validity, concentrating on its applications in measurement and assessment. The entry begins with an overview ...

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