Face validity is the extent to which a test is subjectively viewed as covering the concept it purports to measure. It refers to the transparency or relevance of a test as they appear to test participants. In other words, a test can be said to have face validity if it "looks like" it is going to measure what it is supposed to measure. For instance, if you prepare a test to measure whether students can perform multiplication, and the people you show it to all agree that it looks like a good test of multiplication ability, you have shown the face validity of your test.
Some people use the term face validity only to refer to the validity of observers who are not expert in testing methodologies. For instance, if you have a test that is designed to measure whether children are good spellers, and you ask their parents whether the test is a good test, you are studying the face validity of the test. If you ask an expert in testing spelling, some people would argue that you are not testing face validity. This distinction seems too careful for most applications . Generally face validity means that the test "looks like" it will work, as opposed to "has been shown to work".
Textbook edit #2: Face Validity 
"Face validity is not a statistical measure but a subjective impression of how well the test items seem to be related to the job in question.
- Airline pilots would not think it unusual to take tests about mechanics or navigation because these topics are directly related to the job they expect to perform, but they might balk at being asked if they loved their parents or slept with a light on in their room.
- Such questions might be related to emotional stability, but they do not appear to be related to flying an airplane. If a test lacks face validity, applicants may not take it seriously, and this may lower their test performance.
- The best psychological tests include in their manuals the results of validation studies. Without this information, the human resource or personnel manager can have little confidence that the tests in the company's employee selection program are actually measuring the qualities and abilities being sought in new employees.
- Test validation is expensive, but proper validation procedures will more than pay for themselves."
Face validity is often contrasted with content validity.
In simulation, the first goal of the simulation modeler is to construct a model that appears reasonable on its face to model users and others who are knowledgeable about the real system being simulated. If these experts feel the model is adequate, then it has face validity.
See also 
- Holden, Ronald B. (2010). "Face validity". In Weiner, Irving B.; Craighead, W. Edward. The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. pp. 637–638. ISBN 978-0-470-17024-3.
- Gravetter, Frederick J.; Forzano, Lori-Ann B. (2012). Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-111-34225-8.
- University of Salford: School of Community, Health Sciences and Social Care 
- Anastasi, A. (1988). Psychological testing. New York, NY: Macmillan, p. 144
- Banks, J. (2005). Discrete-Event System Simulation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
6. ^ Schultz & Schultz, Duane (2010). Psychology and work today. New York: Prentice Hall. pp. 84. ISBN 0-205-68358-4.
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