Chapter 5 - Chapter 5: Designing Valid Communication...

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Chapter 5: Designing Valid Communication Research I. Introduction A. People frequently refer to the concept of validity in everyday conversation, saying things like, “She has a valid point” or “That’s not a valid statement.” 1. They are referring to the accuracy of a statement; therefore, the best synonym for the word validity is accuracy . II. Internal and External Validity A. Two general types of validity are important: internal and external. 1. Internal validity concerns the accuracy of conclusions drawn from a particular research study. a. Internal validity asks whether a research study is designed and conducted such that it leads to accurate findings about the phenomena being investigated for the particular group of people or texts being studied. 2. External validity concerns the generalizability of the findings from a research study. a. External validity asks whether the conclusions from a particular study can be applied to other people/texts, places, and/or times. 3. The best studies are high on both internal and external validity. a. There are times when a researcher must sacrifice a little of one type of validity to boost the other. b. Validity ranges on a continuum from studies that have internal and/or external validity to those with less. B. As Figure 5.1 shows, internal validity is potentially compromised by three general threats, each of which contains several specific threats: 1. How the research is conducted, effects due to research participants, and/or effects due to researchers. 2. Three factors may influence external validity and include: How the people/texts studied were selected, called sampling ; whether the procedures used mirror real life, called ecological validity; and/or the need to replicate the findings. III. Measurement Validity and Reliability A. Data collected through questionnaires, interviews, and observations are worthwhile only if they are recorded in accurate ways. 1. Measurement validity refers to how well researchers measure what they intend to measure. a. Measurement validity refers to the ability of a measurement technique to tap the referents of the concepts being investigated. b. For any measurement to be valid, it must first be reliable , a term that implies both consistency and stability. i. Measurement reliability means measuring something in a consistent and stable manner. ii. Measurement validity and reliability go hand in hand; neither is meaningful without the other. iii. A measurement can be reliable, however, but not necessarily valid. 2. Measurement reliability is not an absolute measure as indicated by the “friend who usually arrives on
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time”; there is some variation. a. Even reliable or general consistent measurements have some deviation, or error. b. Observed Measurement = True Score + Error Score which also shape the amount of random
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Chapter 5 - Chapter 5: Designing Valid Communication...

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