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Relilablity and Validity

Relilablity and Validity

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Published by William Molnar

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Published by: William Molnar on May 16, 2009
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William Molnar 
Distinguish the concept “reliability” from the concept “validity,” using your own words or examples. (Please use these terms in their research sense, not their everyday meaning. That is,not personal reliability, but statistical reliability, and validity not in the sense of a valid passwordor a logically valid argument, but as explained in the Trochim textbook.) Validity on the other hand is in
a general sense, any measuring device that is valid if it does whatit isintended to do. More specifically, validty
concerns the crucial relationship betweenconcept and indicator. Unlike reliability that focuses on the performance of empiricalmeasures,validity
is usually more of a theoretically-oriented issue because it raises the question,“valid for what purpose?” Validity
is crucial to an instrument’scredibility; it is an indication that the instrument is indeed measuring what it wasdesigned to measure and that it is measuring it accurately.Validity, like reliability, is a matter of degree. Attaining a perfectly validindicator—one that represents the intended, and only the intended, concept—isunachievable. However, the higher an instrument’s validity
the higher the likelihood thatit is measuring the theoretical constructs for which it is expressly designed.2. Provide an example of either weak reliability or weak validity.Here is an example of a weak validity. Many recreational activities of high school studentsinvolve driving cars. A researcher, wanting to measure whether recreational activities have anegative effect on grade point average in high school students, might conduct a survey askinghow many students drive to school and then attempt to find a correlation between these twofactors. Because many students might use their cars for purposes other than or in addition torecreation (e.g., driving to work after school, driving to school rather than walking or taking a bus), this research study might prove invalid. Even if a strong correlation was found betweendriving and grade point average, driving to school in and of itself would seem to be an invalidmeasure of recreational activity.Reliability concerns the extent to which any measuring procedure yields the same results onrepeated trials. The more consistent the results achieved by the same participants in the samerepeated measurements, the higher the reliability of the measuring procedure; conversely the lessconsistent the results, the lower the reliability An assessment instrument, for example, is quitereliable if an individual obtains approximately the same score or outcome on repeatedexaminations. Reliability is an important indicator of an instrument’s readability,understandability, and general usefulness

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