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A seeming exception is the significance test itself. It is applied after the data have been collected, as already observed, and it has been largely separated and divorced from substantive considerations. It is a significant commentary on current outlooks that the significance test came to be the apotheosis of statistics, not that more substantive and more important pair of concepts, validity and reliability. To these, we now turn. 2 VALIDITY Validity is a primary concern at every level of the Experimental Pyramid.

A further aspect of the behavior–phenomenon distinction concerns generality. Any given setup must be restricted to one or a few exemplars of the phenomenon. Generality for other exemplars is a primary desideratum. Studies of learning, for example, usually concentrate on a single task, hoping the results will hold for other tasks. Sometimes this happens, sometimes not. Pavlov’s salivary reflex, surprisingly, yielded findings and principles of considerable generality. Ebbinghaus’ rote memory tasks, on the other hand, were a disappointment in the search for general principles of memory.

These empirical operations determine the validity of the measurement transformation. Measurement also has a conceptual base, manifest in the names we give to our measures: learning, memory, intelligence, expectancy, blame, and so forth. These are not simple object properties, like mass or length. Most refer to complex phenomena, whose definition involves successive approximation within an ever-developing conceptual framework. Page 14 This issue may be illustrated with the concept of intelligence.

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