Validating psychological constructs: Historical, philosophical, and practical dimensions

This book critically examines the historical and philosophical foundations of construct validity theory (CVT), and how these have and continue to inform and constrain the conceptualization of validity and its application in research. CVT has had an immense impact on how researchers in the behavioural sciences conceptualize and approach their subject matter. Yet, there is equivocation regarding the foundations of the CVT framework as well as ambiguities concerning the nature of the “constructs” that are its raison d’etre. The book is organized in terms of three major parts that speak, respectively, to the historical, philosophical, and pragmatic dimensions of CVT. The primary objective is to provide researchers and students with a critical lens through which a deeper understanding may be gained of both the utility and limitations of CVT and the validation practices to which it has given rise.


Citation: Slaney, K. L. (2017). Validating psychological constructs: Historical, philosophical, and practical dimensions. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Published by Kathleen Slaney

I am a Professor of Psychology at Simon Fraser University, located in British Columbia, Canada. My research interests and expertise fall, broadly, in the philosophy of psychological science, analysis and critique of empirical methodologies, study of scientific practices in psychology, history/philosophy of psychological measurement, theoretical and applied psychometrics. More recently I've turned my attention to thinking and writing about to a more general set of meta-science issues, including philosophical reflexivity, generalizability, and rhetoric in science discourse. I am also just beginning a new line of research into the topic of community and civic virtue.