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Predictive Validity

What is Predictive Validity?

Lead consultant at Test Partnership, Ben Schwencke, explains predictive validity.

grey clock icon 0:40 Quickly understand what predictive validity means.

Predictive validity, also known as criterion validity or criterion-related validity, is the ability of a psychometric assessment to predict certain real-world outcomes that are associated with the psychological construct it measures. For instance, cognitive ability tests are known to be good predictors of job performance, so a common predictive validity study will involve showing a positive association between cognitive ability test scores and manager ratings. If the assessment has a strong, positive correlation with manager ratings, this is evidence of predictive validity. However, if the assessment has little to no relationship with manager ratings, this suggests that the assessment lacks predictive validity.

Predictive validity has a number of advantages and drawbacks. In the context of employee selection, predictive validity is highly desirable as the objective of pre-employment assessments is to predict job performance, culture-fit, or employee retention. Showing that assessments predict these outcomes is beneficial and highlights the utility of the assessment in practice. However, predictive validity does not necessarily imply construct validity. For example, a test designed to measure numerical reasoning may effectively predict performance in the workplace, but could actually be measuring a different construct, such as verbal reasoning or logical reasoning. This could result in redundancy in the selection process if that employer is already using a verbal or logical reasoning test elsewhere.

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