Validity Generalization: Then and Now
Frank J. Landy
I was asked to prepare a chapter dealing with the way in which validity generalization has changed the landscape for the personnel psychologist. Having been actively engaged in personnel psychology since 1964, this is a task for which I am well suited (at least by virtue of “being there” and being “here”). Because I was asked to contrast “then” with “now, ” I take, of necessity, a historical perspective. I am also comfortable with the role of the historiographer, particularly of the deconstruct ionist ilk. Further, I take a somewhat broader view than many of the other chapter authors. I pay scant attention to microanalytic and statistical detail. I do not (unduly) concern myself with controversies surrounding general mental ability (g), or the most recent findings with respect to the parameters of assessment (e.g., personality characteristics such as conscientiousness) or the process of assessment (e.g., the structured interview). Instead, I attempt to describe the evolution of the concept of validity generalization as well as the uneven role it plays today in research, theory, practice, and public policy formulation.