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By way of illustration, consider the concept of anxiety and its measurement.
By and large, measuring length by a ruler and weight by a scale does not generate controversy; the relation of these concepts to their respective methods of measurement seems obvious and beyond dispute.
By and large, this approach has employed the method of factor analysis, with all of its strengths and weaknesses.
A good illustration of the approach is the work of R. Cattell, recently presented in an integrating, summary volume (1965).
Presumably, the usefulness of the concepts will be tested, and they will be re shaped under the impact of the empirical consequences they entail.
The reader may wish to consider, as an instance of this general approach, the attempt of Lazarus (1966) to construct and delineate a concept of stress [see Stress].This reciprocal improvement of theory and method has come to be called the process of “construct validation” (Cronbach & Meehl 1955).