2nd Edition

Frontiers of Test Validity Theory Measurement, Causation, and Meaning

By Keith A. Markus, Denny Borsboom Copyright 2025
    440 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    440 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Now in its second edition, this important book examines test validity in the behavioral, social, and educational sciences by exploring three fundamental problems: measurement, causation and meaning. Psychometric and philosophical perspectives and unresolved issues receive attention, as the authors explore how measurement is conceived from both the classical and modern perspectives.

    Split into three accessible sections, the first contrasts theories of measurement as applied to the validity of behavioral science measures, and the second considers causal theories of measurement as well as alternative theories of causation. The final section explores the meaning and interpretation of test scores as it applies to test validity, offering a conceptual overview of the field and its current state. Each carefully revised chapter begins with an overview of key theories and literature, concludes with a list of suggested readings and discussion questions, and features boxes with real-life situations that connect theory to practice. Examples of specific issues include:

    • How tests can assess an attribute without measuring it.
    • The role of values in test validity.
    • Interpreting responses to the same question in different languages.

    Researchers, practitioners, and policy makers interested in test validity or developing tests appreciate the book's cutting-edge review of test validity. Focusing on both the underlying concepts, as well as practical challenges of test construction and use, it also serves as a supplement in graduate or advanced undergraduate courses on test validity, psychometrics, testing or measurement taught in psychology, education, sociology, social work, political science, business, criminal justice and other fields. The book does not assume a background in measurement.

    1. Introduction: Surveying the Field of Test Validity Theory

    Part I. Measurement

    2. Philosophical Theories of Measurement

    3. Psychometric Models

    4. Open Issues in Measurement Theory and Psychometrics

    Part II. Causation

    5. Test Scores as Samples: Behavior Domain Theory

    6. Causality in Measurement

    7. Causation, Correlation, and Reflective Measurement Models

    8. Problems in Causation and Validity: Formative Measurement, Networks, and Individual Differences

    Part III. Meaning

    9. Interpreting Test Responses: Validity, Values, and Evaluation

    10. A Model of Test Score Interpretation

    11. Open Questions About Test Score Meaning

    Part IV. Conclusion

    12. An Integrative View of Test Validity

    13. Epilogue as Dialog: The Future of Test Validity Theory


    Keith A. Markus is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York (CUNY), USA.

    Denny Borsboom is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.