Friday, July 9, 2010

Reliability and Validity of Qualitative Research

"Validity of qualitative research for the most part is established on a logical basis, and providing an argument for validity requires well-documented research and a comprehensive description."

- traditional concepts of reliability and validity may cause qualitative researchers some difficulty because qualitative research occurs in natural settings which are extremely difficult to replicate.

- internal reliability is consistency in the research process which may involve observation by multiple observers or the use of videotapes.

- typically there will be some disagreement among observers, and one way to obtain a measure of agreement is to complete the ratio of agreements to agreements plus disagreements...this is called concordance.

- interval validity relies on the logical analysis of the results.

- since research is conducted in natural settings  with complex phenomena, controlling variables is difficult.  Thus, verifying the results and conclusions in qualitative research is enhanced when using two or more sources or perspectives.

- external validity is more concerned with the comparability and translatability of the research (not with broad generalizations of results).

- comparability refers to the extent to which adequate theoretical constructs and research procedures are used so that other researchers can understand the results.