Psychology Exam Questions Instructor: ANSWER_1: Validity and Reliability of Research Instruments Measurement in research is very crucial; therefore, the measurement tools or instruments that we use must be chosen carefully to ensure we have accurate results…
For example if we want to measure the height of an obese 15 year old girl we will use a tape measure. Its validity is determined by the fact that indeed the tape measure is measuring the height of the girl and not her weight. Validity therefore according to Leedy and Ormrod (2010) is the extent to which an instrument measures what it was intended to measure. That means we are absolutely sure that the tape measure is a valid tool of measuring height of the girl in the study. When it comes to reliability, this is a totally different issue. Let us assume the tape measure gave us the height of the girl as 5 feet. If we measure the same girl using the same tape and in the same manner then the measurement should always result to 5 feet. If it does then the tape is reliable. Reliability is therefore about consistency, if I measure the same variable, using the same tool will my results be the same if nothing has changed. Using the same obese girl, and measure her height as many times the measurement should be the same as long as everything remains constant like she must be standing on the same level, wearing the same heel size and so on. But if I use the same tape measure to measure her waist things might be different. This is because the likelihood of the circumstances remaining constant is limited. In one instant I could tighten the tape, the girl could change her breathing or I could have place the tape on a different section of her waist. With this illustration as much as the tape would be a valid measurement tool to measure the waist but may it is not reliable. In social research, determining validity and reliability of a measurement tools can be less obvious (McLeod, Harrison, & McCormack, 2012, p. 653). In a research to determine customer satisfaction to a new mobile phone two researchers may have different question. For instance, the first researcher may ask how easy the user finds it to use a new device while another may ask to rate the device in terms of ease of use on a Likert scale. In the first example the answers collected will be more valid than those collected by researcher B. In example A, the respondent either finds it hard to use the device or finds it easy. But in the second case the respondents might not know what defines fairly easy or fairly difficult. There is no clear definition of what fairly easy entails. Reliability is a contributor to validity and is necessary but not sufficient condition for validity (McLeod, Harrison, & McCormack, 2012). In social research we want questions that will be able to produce consistent but accurate results Validity in Research Validity in research is achieved through the internal and external validity of the study. Internal validity refers to the outcome of the study was based on the function of the program. A study has internal validity if the outcome of the study is a function of the approach being tested rather than results of the causes not systematically dealt with (Kumar, 2004). Internal validity is justified by the conclusions we have as researchers when we have been able to control the threats of other variables (intervening variables, or moderating variables or extraneous variables). The more you reduce the nuisances (other variables) affecting the study, the more you attain the internal validity. There are four forms of validity and to which extent many authors agree. Colorado State University (2009) lists the forms of validity ...
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