Construct in Psychology | TESL Lessons

Construct in Psychology

Construct is a term used in psychology to label underlying skills or attributes. A construct is an explanatory device, so-called because it is a theoretical construction about the nature of human behavior. In test development, the construct being assessed is defined before the test is developed; this is to make sure that the test assesses the attribute that it is supposed to, that it is ‘valid’ (Gipps, 1994).

Concepts become constructs when they are so defined that they can become ‘operational’: we can measure them in a test of some kind by linking the term to something observable.


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