Predictor content matters for knowledge testing: Evidence supporting content validation

Paul R. Sackett, Philip T. Walmsley, Amanda J. Koch, Adam S. Beatty, Nathan R. Kuncel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Organizations often rely on the match between job requirements and test content to justify test use. This practice has been questioned on the grounds that content validation has little relevance to criterion-related validation due to positive manifold among predictors. We analyze two large databases to assess the implications of test content for (a) test interchangeability and (b) criterion-related validity. Analyses of 15 knowledge tests administered (N = 80,394) as part of Project Talent demonstrate that test content is related to predictor interchangeability. Analyses of SAT and Advanced Placement test data compare correlations among predictors and criteria drawn from matched and unmatched content domains. We conclude that test-criterion content match is likely to result in stronger criterion-related validity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-71
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Performance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Study 2 was supported by a grant from the College Board to Paul R. Sackett and Nathan R. Kuncel. Study 2 was derived from data provided by the College Board (© 2006-2010, The College Board; Paul R. Sackett serves as a consultant to the College Board. This relationship has been reviewed and managed by the University of Minnesota in accordance with its conflict of interest policies. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of U.S. Customs and Border Protection or the U.S. Federal Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.


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