Construct Validation of Personality Measures

Gregory T. Smith, Tamika C.B. Zapolski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Over the last century, both validation theory and personality theory have made enormous strides, and progress in the two domains has been closely linked. A great deal of the history of validation theory in psychology has been driven by the need to assess personality-based dysfunction; at the same time, progress in understanding how to validate measures of unobservable personality constructs has led to improvements in personality theory and assessment. This article presents an overview of this history and then discusses recent advances in construct validation theory of personality measures. One important, recent advance is a growing appreciation of the need to make measures of unidimensional, rather than multidimensional, constructs the focus of both construct validation and theory validation. The article provides examples of the kinds of advances in knowledge that have been realized in personality and psychopathology research following the introduction of construct validity and also following appreciation of the need to focus on homogeneous psychological entities. Finally, it highlights the need to validate measures in relation to humans' day-to-day and moment-to-moment reactions and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Personality Assessment
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940592
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press, 2014.


  • Construct validation theory
  • Construct validity
  • Personality
  • Personality constructs
  • Personality measures
  • Personality theory
  • Psychology
  • Psychopathology
  • Theory validation
  • Validation theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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