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 person. To substantiate intraindividual causal conclusions, one must explicitly represent individual level processes in the measurement model. Several research strategies that may be useful in this respect are discussed, and a typology of constructs is proposed on the basis of this analysis. The need to link individual processes to latent variable models for interindividual differences is emphasized.