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Module 8. Criterion-Related Validation

If the purpose of validation is to examine whether the inferences and conclu-sions based on test scores are defensible, just how does the criterion-related approach provide this information? The answer is relatively straightforward. The criterion-related approach to test validation involves examining the empirical relationship between scores on a test and a criterion of interest, typically by use of a correlation coefficient. The appropriate choice of a criterion will depend on what inferences we hope to make. Thus, in determining the validity of a college entrance exam, we would desire a criterion of college success. In determining the validity of an employment selection exam, we would want a criterion of successful job performance. Moreover, in examining the success of a new type of psychiatric therapy, we would select a criterion that captured psychological health.