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Avaliação Psicológica

Print version ISSN 1677-0471On-line version ISSN 2175-3431


FILHO, Nelson Hauck. Psychological measurement: The debate between representationalism and realism. Aval. psicol. [online]. 2014, vol.13, n.3, pp. 399-408. ISSN 1677-0471.

The possibility of devising measures of psychological phenomena remains a contentious issue since the early days of Psychology as an independent science. The aim of this paper is to appraise two theoretical perspectives on which the boundaries of Psychometric measurement have been based: Representational Measurement Theory (RMT) and Realist Measurement Approach (RMA). This paper discusses distinctive features and specific problems faced by each conceptual approach, and evaluates claims by authors on both sides of the debate that the Rasch models consist of empirical tests of psychological attributes. Furthermore, the paper highlights two critical conditions that must be met for a satisfactory solution to the problem of psychological measurement. Notwithstanding, the paper defends the legitimacy of using psychometric instruments in psychological assessment in professional practice, even if definitive answers to the questions of psychological assessment do not yet exist.

Keywords : psychometrics; philosophy of science; realism; measurement; item response theory.

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