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Validity of Research

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What is Reliability?

Assessing Behavioral Changes: The Importance of Having a Baseline For Comparison
Ensuring the Validity of Research

For example, if you are performing a time critical experiment, you will be using some type of stopwatch. Generally, it is reasonable to assume that the instruments are reliable and will keep true and accurate time. However, diligent scientists take measurements many times, to minimize the chances of malfunction and maintain validity and reliability. At the other extreme, any experiment that uses human judgment is always going to come under question.

Human judgment can vary wildly between observers , and the same individual may rate things differently depending upon time of day and current mood. This means that such experiments are more difficult to repeat and are inherently less reliable. Reliability is a necessary ingredient for determining the overall validity of a scientific experiment and enhancing the strength of the results.

Debate between social and pure scientists, concerning reliability, is robust and ongoing. Validity encompasses the entire experimental concept and establishes whether the results obtained meet all of the requirements of the scientific research method. For example, there must have been randomization of the sample groups and appropriate care and diligence shown in the allocation of controls. Internal validity dictates how an experimental design is structured and encompasses all of the steps of the scientific research method.

Even if your results are great, sloppy and inconsistent design will compromise your integrity in the eyes of the scientific community. Internal validity and reliability are at the core of any experimental design. External validity is the process of examining the results and questioning whether there are any other possible causal relationships.

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We can assess the conclusion validity of each of these conclusions or inferences. Assuming that there is a relationship in this study, is the relationship a causal one? Just because we find that use of the WWW site and knowledge are correlated, we can't necessarily assume that WWW site use causes the knowledge.

Both could, for example, be caused by the same factor. For instance, it may be that wealthier students who have greater resources would be more likely to use have access to a WWW site and would excel on objective tests.

When we want to make a claim that our program or treatment caused the outcomes in our study, we can consider the internal validity of our causal claim. Assuming that there is a causal relationship in this study , can we claim that the program reflected well our construct of the program and that our measure reflected well our idea of the construct of the measure? In simpler terms, did we implement the program we intended to implement and did we measure the outcome we wanted to measure?

In yet other terms, did we operationalize well the ideas of the cause and the effect? When our research is over, we would like to be able to conclude that we did a credible job of operationalizing our constructs -- we can assess the construct validity of this conclusion.

Assuming that there is a causal relationship in this study between the constructs of the cause and the effect , can we generalize this effect to other persons, places or times?

We are likely to make some claims that our research findings have implications for other groups and individuals in other settings and at other times. When we do, we can examine the external validity of these claims.

Notice how the question that each validity type addresses presupposes an affirmative answer to the previous one. This is what we mean when we say that the validity types build on one another.

The figure shows the idea of cumulativeness as a staircase, along with the key question for each validity type. For any inference or conclusion, there are always possible threats to validity -- reasons the conclusion or inference might be wrong.

Ideally, one tries to reduce the plausibility of the most likely threats to validity, thereby leaving as most plausible the conclusion reached in the study. For instance, imagine a study examining whether there is a relationship between the amount of training in a specific technology and subsequent rates of use of that technology. Because the interest is in a relationship, it is considered an issue of conclusion validity. Assume that the study is completed and no significant correlation between amount of training and adoption rates is found.

On this basis it is concluded that there is no relationship between the two. How could this conclusion be wrong -- that is, what are the "threats to validity"? For one, it's possible that there isn't sufficient statistical power to detect a relationship even if it exists. Perhaps the sample size is too small or the measure of amount of training is unreliable.


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What is Validity? Validity encompasses the entire experimental concept and establishes whether the results obtained meet all of the requirements of the scientific research method. For example, there must have been randomization of the sample groups and appropriate care and diligence shown in the allocation of controls.

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Internal validity - the instruments or procedures used in the research measured what they were supposed to measure. Example: As part of a stress experiment, people are shown photos of war atrocities. Example: As part of a stress experiment, people are shown photos of war atrocities.

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Reviews from Validity Research employees about Validity Research culture, salaries, benefits, work-life balance, management, job security, and more/5(67). Validity: the best available approximation to the truth of a given proposition, inference, or conclusion. The first thing we have to ask is: "validity of what?" When we think about validity in research, most of us think about research components.

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In general, VALIDITY is an indication of how sound your research is. More specifically, validity applies to both the design and the methods of your research. Validity in data collection means that your findings truly represent . Enroll in the Global Health Research Certificate Program. Validity of Research. Though it is often assumed that a study’s results are valid or conclusive just because the study is scientific, unfortunately, this is not the case.