Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Ecological Validity

  • Molly E. ZimmermanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1193


In neuropsychological settings, ecological validity refers to the extent to which performance on a cognitive test predicts actual real-world behavior or future behavioral outcomes.

Current Knowledge

Ecological validity may be affected by complex environmental interactions that occur in the brain and behavior relationships. Egon Brunswik first used the term in 1955 to describe the ability to generalize the findings obtained under controlled experimental conditions to behavior observed in a naturalistic environment (Tupper and Cicerone 1990). Ecological validity can be conceptualized as having two aspects; verisimilitude, the extent to which the test procedures resemble the behavior to be predicted and veridicality, or the empirical demonstration of accurate predictions of the behavior of interest (Franzen and Wilhelm 1996). Although these two aspects can be independent, the designed test procedures with a view toward increasing verisimilitude can increase the probability of...

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References and Readings

  1. Cardwell, M., & Flanagan, C. (2003). Psychology AS: The complete companion. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.Google Scholar
  2. Franzen, M. D., & Wilhelm, K. (1996). Conceptual and theoretical considerations in ecological validity. In R. J. Sbordone & C. J. Lang (Eds.), Ecological validity in neuropsychological testing (pp. 91–112). Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFordham UniversityBronxUSA