On the sins of short-form development

Psychol Assess. 2000 Mar;12(1):102-11. doi: 10.1037//1040-3590.12.1.102.


The empirical short-form literature has been characterized by overly optimistic views of the transfer of validity from parent form to short form and by the weak application of psychometric principles in validating short forms. Reviewers have thus opposed constructing short forms altogether, implying researchers are succumbing to an inappropriate temptation by trying to abbreviate measures. The authors disagree. The authors do not oppose the development of short forms, but they do assert that the validity standards for short forms should be quite high. The authors identify 2 general and 9 specific methodological sins characterizing short-form construction and offer methodological suggestions for the sound development of short forms. They recommend a set of 6 a priori steps researchers should consider and 9 methodological procedures researchers can use to develop valid abbreviated forms of clinical-assessment procedures.

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • Humans
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results