Validating computer attitude questionnaire
The distinction between, yet interdependence of, concept and measurement in the study of personality requires a spiraling interplay of these levels of analysis—concepts should suggest approaches to measurement, and measurement should refine conceptual formulations.
This reciprocal improvement of theory and method has come to be called the process of “construct validation” (Cronbach & Meehl 1955).
But, for the present, the sense with which the term should be understood here is perhaps sufficiently conveyed by resort to the tautology of a dictionary definition (Webster’s New International Dictionary, second edition).
Thus, anxiety means “painful uneasiness of mind respecting an impending or anticipated ill; a state of restlessness and agitation, with a distressing sense of oppression about the heart; expectancy of evil or danger without adequate ground …
These differences may be impractical to study or they may be judged as trivial, but the concept requires that they exist.
These concepts need not constitute—and thus far have never been—a formal model of personality.
Rather, they represent simply a set of dimensions or ideas in terms of which their expounder finds it convenient and congenial to conceptualize his view of “personality.” Selection of these concepts may be supported by observational, introspectional, clinical, test, or experimental data, of varying degrees of quality and persuasiveness, but often is not.
By and large, measuring length by a ruler and weight by a scale does not generate controversy; the relation of these concepts to their respective methods of measurement seems obvious and beyond dispute.
In the physical sciences and in some subareas of psychology where intuitions are strong and widely held, one need not be acutely concerned with the distinction between a concept and the way in which that concept happens to be measured.