Is a behavioral measure the best estimate of behavioral parameters? Perhaps not

George S. Howard, Scott E. Maxwell, Richard L. Wiener, Kathy S. Boynton, William M. Rooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


In many areas of psychological research various measurement procedures are employed in order to obtain estimates of some set of parameter values. A common practice is to validate one measurement device by demonstrating its relationship to some criterion. However, in many cases the measurement of that criterion is less than a perfect estimate of true parameters. Self-report measures are often val idated by comparing them with behavioral mea sures of the dimension of interest. This procedure is only justifiable insofar as the behavioral measure represents an accurate estimate of population parameters. Three studies, dealing with the assess ment of assertiveness, students' in-class verbal and nonverbal behaviors, and a number of teacher-stu dent in-class interactions, tested the adequacy of behavioral versus self-report measures as accurate estimates of behavioral parameters. In Studies 2 and 3 self-reports were found to be as good as be havioral measures as estimates of behavioral pa rameters, while Study 1 found self-reports to be sig nificantly superior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-311
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Psychological Measurement
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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