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Title: Defining face validity
Authors: Li, Edward Siu-Leung
Keywords: Face validity
Quantitative validation
Qualitative validation
Issue Date: 1995
Citation: Thinking language : issues in the study of language and language curriculum renewal. Editors : Kitty P. Y. Wong and Christopher F. Green. Hong Kong : Language Centre, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, c1995.
Abstract: Face validity is a blanket term commonly used by testing and measurement specialists to refer to the layman's judgement of test validity. In the sceptical eyes to experts, the subjective and impressionistic evaluation by the psychometrically untrained layman pertains "not to what the test acutally measures, but to what it appears superficially to measure" (Anastasi 1954:136). The need for face validity is no more than to ensure that the test has a general appearance of acceptability. This appearance of validity or relevance has been criticised for lacking theoretical and empirical verification. My purpose here is to argue for the complementarity of qualitative and quantitative validation. Subjective and non-technical as it is, face validity provides a valuable source of information for testing development and research.
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