Construct Validation Theory

This multi-pronged historical project consisted of two major components, the first of which has involved an examination of the historical and philosophical roots of construct validation theory by conducting an historiography of a transition period in philosophy of science from strict logical positivism to a more liberated logical empiricism, and ultimately to a more realist approach to scientific inquiry. Several published works summarize these findings (Lovasz & Slaney, 2013; Slaney & Garcia, 2015; Slaney, 2012; Slaney & Racine, 2013; Slaney, 2017).

The second component of this research was dedicated to an empirical examination of construct validation practices, both over time and across different substantive areas of research. In onr study, we reviewed the particular methods and techniques researchers use when conducting construct validations. In a second study, we conducted a detailed qualitative analysis of a small sample (n =24) of published construct validation studies.    

Relevant Publications:

Lovasz, N., & Slaney, K. L. (2013). What makes a hypothetical construct “hypothetical”? Tracing the origins and uses of the “hypothetical construct” concept in psychological science. New Ideas in Psychology, 31, 22-31.

Slaney, K. L. (2017). Validating Psychological Constructs: Historical, philosophical, and practical dimensions. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Slaney, K. L. (2015). “I’m Not That Kind of Psychologist”: A Case for Methodological Pragmatism in Theoretical Inquiries into Psychological Science Practices. In J. Martin, J. Sugarman, & K. L Slaney (Eds), The Wiley handbook of theoretical and philosophical psychology: Methods, approaches, and new directions for social sciences (pp. 343-358). Chichester, England: Wiley Blackwell.

Slaney K. L. (2014). Psychometrics. In T. Teo (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology: Springer reference (pp. 1573-1580). New York: Springer.

Slaney, K. L. (2012). Laying the cornerstone of construct validity theory: Herbert Feigl’s influence on early specifications. Theory and Psychology, 22, 290-309.

Slaney, K. L., & Garcia, D. A. (2015). Constructing psychological objects: The rhetoric of constructs. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology.

Slaney, K. L., & Racine, T. P. (2013). What’s in a name? Psychology’s ever evasive construct. New Ideas in Psychology, 31, 4-12.