How Fair Is My Test? A Ratio Coefficient to Help Represent Consequential Validity

Denis Dumas, Yixiao Dong, Daniel McNeish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The degree to which test scores can support justified and fair decisions about demographically diverse participants has been an important aspect of educational and psychological testing for millennia. In the last 30 years, this aspect of measurement has come to be known as consequential validity, and it has sparked scholarly debate as to how responsible psychometricians should be for the fairness of the tests they create and how the field might be able to quantify that fairness and communicate it to applied researchers and other stakeholders of testing programs. Here, we formulate a relatively simple-to-calculate ratio coefficient that is meant to capture how well the scores from a given test can predict a criterion free from the undue influence of student demographics. We posit three example calculations of this Consequential Validity Ratio (CVR): one where the CVR is quite strong, another where the CVR is more moderate, and a third where the CVR is weak. We provide preliminary suggestions for interpreting the CVR and discuss its utility in instances where new tests are being developed, tests are being adapted to a new population, or the fairness of an established test has become an empirical question.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • consequential validity
  • educational measurement
  • psychometrics
  • testing fairness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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