This chapter defines recursive validity as a self-reinforcing loop of observation and judgment, which emphasizes that observation and reporting are most useful when they can be conceptualized by decision makers in such a way as to (a) integrate with their conceptions of reality and (b) be confirmed when actions result in expected outcomes. This approach leads us away from unnecessary abstraction and encourages the testing of predictive validity of proxy measurements. In a full program of research, it also requires an external critique of observational bias to recognize potential false justification. With this framework in place, we apply it to a difficult problem in higher education: how to assess learning outcomes in a way that is convincing to stakeholders.