Argumentation Surrounding Argument-Based Validation: A Systematic Review of Validation Methodology in Peer-Reviewed Articles

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2020


Since it was formalized by Kane, the argument-based approach to validation has been promoted as the preferred method for validating interpretations and uses of test scores. Because validation is discussed in terms of arguments, and arguments are both interactive and social, the present review systematically examines the scholarly arguments which appear in 83 papers on argument-based validation methods published in peer-reviewed journals. Findings suggest that scholars generally agree on the nature and importance of argument-based validation but disagree on whether validation should be structured or unstructured, formal or informal. Implications are discussed, including promotion of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, and NCME) as a foundation for consensus in the field.