Measurement Validity: A Shared Standard for Qualitative and Quantitative Research

American Political Science Review, Vol. 95, No. 3, pp. 529-546, September 2001

18 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2010 Last revised: 25 Mar 2016

See all articles by Robert Adcock

Robert Adcock

American University - School of International Service

David Collier

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Political Science

Date Written: September 1, 2001

Abstract

Scholars routinely make claims that presuppose the validity of the observations and measurements that operationalize their concepts. Yet, despite recent advances in political science methods, surprisingly little attention has been devoted to measurement validity. We address this gap by exploring four themes. First, we seek to establish a shared framework that allows quantitative and qualitative scholars to assess more effectively, and communicate about, issues of valid measurement. Second, we underscore the need to draw a clear distinction between measurement issues and disputes about concepts. Third, we discuss the contextual specificity of measurement claims, exploring a variety of measurement strategies that seek to combine generality and validity by devoting greater attention to context. Fourth, we address the proliferation of terms for alternative measurement validation procedures and offer an account of the three main types of validation most relevant to political scientists.

Suggested Citation

Adcock, Robert and Collier, David, Measurement Validity: A Shared Standard for Qualitative and Quantitative Research (September 1, 2001). American Political Science Review, Vol. 95, No. 3, pp. 529-546, September 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1677697

Robert Adcock

American University - School of International Service ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

David Collier (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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