Synthetic validity: A conceptual and comparative review

Kevin W. Mossholder, Richard D. Arvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Describes synthetic validity as the logical process of inferring test-battery validity from predetermined validities of the tests for basic work components. Two programmatic approaches to synthetic validity are discussed: the J-coefficient and the job component model. The J-coefficient is a mathematical index of the test and job-performance relationships that has been shown to yield results comparable to intertest and criterion correlation methods of assembling test batteries. The job component model associates mean test-scores with job components and is related to criterion-related validation while the J-coefficient approach is more related to content validation. Other approaches have used ratings as criteria for component validities, but they must be free of the usual rater biases to be useful. It is suggested that the most important aspect of synthetic validity is in making selection decisions. (55 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-333
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 1984


  • synthetic validity model, literature review


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