On the sins of short-form development

Gregory T. Smith, Denis M. McCarthy, Kristen G. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

711 Scopus citations


The empirical short-form literature has been characterized by overly optimistic views of the transfer of validity from parent form to short form and by the weak application of psychometric principles in validating short forms. Reviewers have thus opposed constructing short forms altogether, implying researchers are succumbing to an inappropriate temptation by trying to abbreviate measures. The authors disagree. The authors do not oppose the development of short forms, but they do assert that the validity standards for short forms should be quite high. The authors identify 2 general and 9 specific methodological sins characterizing short-form construction and offer methodological suggestions for the sound development of short forms. They recommend a set of 6 a priori steps researchers should consider and 9 methodological procedures researchers can use to develop valid abbreviated forms of clinical-assessment procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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