Content Validity: Definition, Index & Examples

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  • 0:01 Content Validity Definition
  • 1:20 Content Validity Measurement
  • 1:53 Examples
  • 4:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Chris Clause
In this lesson, you will learn to define content validity and learn how it is used in the development of assessment and measurement tools. Following this lesson, you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge with a short quiz.

Content Validity Definition

When it comes to developing measurement tools such as intelligence tests, surveys, and self-report assessments, validity is important. A variety of types of validity exist, each designed to ensure that specific aspects of measurement tools are accurately measuring what they are intended to measure and that the results can be applied to real-world settings.

Before we move into discussing content validity, it is important to understand that validity is a broad concept that encompasses many aspects of assessment. For example, face validity describes the degree to which an assessment measures what it appears to measure, concurrent validity measures how well the results of one assessment correlate with other assessments designed to measure the same thing, and predictive validity measures how well the assessment results can predict a relationship between the construct of being measured and future behavior.

So, what about content validity? Content validity refers to how accurately an assessment or measurement tool taps into the various aspects of the specific construct in question. In other words, do the questions really assess the construct in question, or are the responses by the person answering the questions influenced by other factors?

Content Validity Measurement

So how is content validity measured? How do researchers know if an assessment has content validity?

Content validity is most often measured by relying on the knowledge of people who are familiar with the construct being measured. These subject-matter experts are usually provided with access to the measurement tool and are asked to provide feedback on how well each question measures the construct in question. Their feedback is then analyzed, and informed decisions can be made about the effectiveness of each question.


To better illustrate the significance of content validity, let's look at two examples. One example explains how content validity can be helpful in a clinical setting, and the other in a business setting. Assessment and measurement tools like surveys and questionnaires are quite common in the social and behavioral sciences. Content validity is a critical aspect of developing tools that can help practitioners understand and treat behavioral and mental health conditions.

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