Is My Test Valid? Guidelines for the Practicing Psychologist for Evaluating the Psychometric Properties of Measures

Kathleen Slaney, Jennifer Storey, Jordan Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A general logic for data-based test evaluation based on Slaney and Maraun’s (2008) framework is described. On the basis of this framework and other well-known test theoretic results, a set of guidelines is proposed to aid researchers in the assessment of the psychometric properties of the measures they use in their research. The guidelines are organized into eight areas and range from general recommendations, pertaining to understanding different psychometric properties of quantitative measures and at what point in a test evaluation their respective assessments should occur, to clarifications of core psychometric concepts such as factor structure, reliability, coefficient alpha, and dimensionality. Finally, an illustrative example is provided with a databased test evaluation of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (Hare, 1991) as a measure of psychopathic personality disorder in a sample of 384 male offenders serving sentences in a Canadian correctional facility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-283
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Forensic Mental Health
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Dec 2011


  • data-based test evaluation
  • internal test validity
  • score precision
  • external test validity

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