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Face validity is a property of a test that is going to be used to measure something. The test is said to have face validity if it "looks like" it is going to measure what it is supposed to measure University of Salford Health Sciences Research. 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 tested 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 (Anastasi 1988, pg. 144). 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".
Anastasi, A. (1988). Psychological testing. New York, NY: Macmillan.