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Can Synthetic Validity Methods Achieve Discriminant Validity?

  • Frank L. Schmidt (a1) and In-Sue Oh (a2)


Our focus is on the difficulties that synthetic validity encounters in attempting to achieve discriminant validity and the implications of these difficulties. Johnson et al. (2010) acknowledge the potential problems involved in attaining discriminant validity in synthetic validity. For example, they report that Peterson et al. (2001), Johnson (2007), and other synthetic validity studies report failure to achieve discriminant validity. What this failure means is that a synthetic validity equation developed to predict validity for Job A does as well in predicting validity for Jobs B, C, D, and so forth as it does for Job A. Johnson et al. then go on to propose that this problem might be overcome by careful attention to both the criterion and predictor sides of synthetic validity. We question whether their proposals can be made to work.


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E-mail:, Address: Department of Management and Organizations, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, W236 John Pappajohn Business Building, University of Iowa, IA 52242-1994


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Can Synthetic Validity Methods Achieve Discriminant Validity?

  • Frank L. Schmidt (a1) and In-Sue Oh (a2)


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