The theoretical status of latent variables.

  title={The theoretical status of latent variables.},
  author={Denny Borsboom and Gideon J. Mellenbergh and Jaap van Heerden},
  journal={Psychological review},
  volume={110 2},
This article examines the theoretical status of latent variables as used in modern test theory models. First, it is argued that a consistent interpretation of such models requires a realist ontology for latent variables. Second, the relation between latent variables and their indicators is discussed. It is maintained that this relation can be interpreted as a causal one but that in measurement models for interindividual differences the relation does not apply to the level of the individual… 

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