Issues Of Validity And Reliability In Qualitative Research Pdf
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- Validity and Reliability in Qualitative Research
- How is reliability and validity realized in qualitative research?
- Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research
What are the Criteria for Inferring Causality? How do we assess reliability and validity?
In general practice, qualitative research contributes as significantly as quantitative research, in particular regarding psycho-social aspects of patient-care, health services provision, policy setting, and health administrations. In contrast to quantitative research, qualitative research as a whole has been constantly critiqued, if not disparaged, by the lack of consensus for assessing its quality and robustness. This article illustrates with five published studies how qualitative research can impact and reshape the discipline of primary care, spiraling out from clinic-based health screening to community-based disease monitoring, evaluation of out-of-hours triage services to provincial psychiatric care pathways model and finally, national legislation of core measures for children's healthcare insurance. Fundamental concepts of validity, reliability, and generalizability as applicable to qualitative research are then addressed with an update on the current views and controversies. The essence of qualitative research is to make sense of and recognize patterns among words in order to build up a meaningful picture without compromising its richness and dimensionality.
Validity and Reliability in Qualitative Research
A short summary of this paper. Validity and Reliability in Qualitative Research. ABSTRACT With reference to definitions of validity and reliability, and drawing extensively on conceptualizations of qualitative research, this essay examines the correlation between the reliability of effort to find answers to questions about the social world, and the validity of conclusions drawn from such attempts. This is to point out the fundamental position to the role of theory in relation to research; as an inductivist strategy qualitative research tries to confer the correspondence between reality and representation.
The problem of validity and reliability in qualitative research is entwined with the definition of qualitative research and the possibility to mirror this in practice to make a qualitative research properly valid and reliable. That presents both challenges and chances to qualitative researchers; yet, with taking into consideration qualitative criteria in social research, achieving validity and as well as reliability in qualitative research is not impossible.
Such an abstract definition is all-encompassing that includes various research strategies, designs and methods. Therefore, it does not tell much about the questions and the answers, and the correlation between both in relation to the researched subject matter. The difficulty and disagreement lies in finding answers to questions about a subject matter that is in slow motion and continuous change, to identify and observe a moving target: the social world.
The debate, currently, is one between two traditions in social research, namely quantitative and qualitative. Each tradition, in turn, has different ontological and epistemological standpoint in relation to the social world.
In a metaphorical sense, it is like looking through different lenses, viewing the social world differently; different things seem important and hence seek finding answers to different questions. That is, the quantitative research regards the social world as separate to the observer; such an ontological objectivism subsequently breeds a positivist epistemological alignment to view the social world as a measurable object. The qualitative research, on the contrary, ontologically takes the social world as a construct of the researcher and the researched, and thus, is epistemologically interpretivist.
This essay discusses the qualitative research, and its possibility to be valid and reliable, I regard this as central to the social research debate. The core question is can qualitative research be appropriately valid and reliable? Having said this, this essay is an answer to the question, not the answer, and it is an interpretation to the debate.
The problem to be addressed is imperative because it aims to examine the correlation between the reliability of effort to find answers to questions about the social world, and the validity of conclusions drawn from such an attempt. In other words, it is pointing out the fundamental position to the role of theory in relation to research, as an inductivist research strategy, to confer the correspondence between reality and representation.
This paper argues that the problem of validity and reliability in qualitative research is entwined with the definition of qualitative research, though some scholars argue that qualitative research is not as valid and reliable as quantitative research, this essay argues that it is possible for qualitative research to be properly valid and reliable, taking into consideration qualitative criteria in social research, including its designs and methods.
In three sections the essay offers an answer the addressed question; in the first section it defines qualitative research and hence deconstructing the question relies on how qualitative research is defined. The second section addresses the matter of validity and the third section takes the issues of reliability in qualitative research. Finally based on what would be discussed through out, the paper offers a conclusion. The problem with defining qualitative research, however, is that there is more than one type of qualitative research.
If one pays close attention to all those four traditions one can observe some common characteristic; that first, centrality of social reality and humans; second, investigating a changing reality; third, interpreting the researched reality in a constructive manner, that the researched contributes meaning to the research and fourth, attempt to understand and seek meaning.
In other words, a qualitative strategy can be best understood in relation to a quantitative strategy, by contrasting both. It is true that both qualitative and quantitative strategies are different but they complement each other in the broader spectrum of social research. I believe that managing the tension between reality and representation, is a conclusion that we may arrive at, after identifying our approach and defining our research strategy. As a substantiated strategy to the conduct of social research, qualitative research provides a distinctive framework for data collection and analysis and offers divers techniques for collecting data.
Some examples of qualitative research designs are, experimental, cross-sectional, longitude, and case study. As to the qualitative research methodologies, examples are, participant observation, ethnography, interviews, focus groups and conversational and textual analysis see, Lawrence Neuman, ; Bryman Process here is taken as a synonym to change in a given context, and the context is a social one - be it a group or a community that has been researched.
For example, if one tries to know the meaning of an act performed by a social agent, one needs to ask the performer in order to know the meaning attached to the action by the social agent. I will take them as two key ways of evaluating qualitative research. In this section, I offer some conceptualizations of validity within the context of qualitative research.
That is, to take validity as an observable criterion in qualitative research and then to argue that it is possible for qualitative research to be properly valid. Further, some scholars have used the same labels and contents of validity in quantitative strategy to evaluate the validity of qualitative research.
Again, Sarantakos offers some other concepts associated with validation in qualitative research; cumulative validation, meaning findings be supported by other studies; communicative validation, findings be evaluated by respondents; argumentative validation, conclusion should be followed and tested; and ecological validation, using stable methods and taking into consideration the life and conditions of the researched Sarantakos, Silverman, identifies two other forms of validations that have been suggested as particularly appropriate to the logic of qualitative research Triangulation, meaning comparing different kinds of data quantitative and qualitative and different kinds of methods observation and interview to see whether they corroborate one another and respondent validation taking ones findings back to the subjects, where these people verify ones findings Silverman, All the types of conceptualization of qualitative validity discussed above have two characteristics in common, first to do research in a professional, accurate and systematic manner, second, to state how research is concocted, transparently.
That is to say, validity has to do with the association between data and conclusion. Having identified the common characteristics of different types of validity in qualitative study, we can present some definitions, of what validity means, i.
Based on the foregoing definitions and classifications, it can be seen that validity means the correct correlation between data and conclusion, but what is more problematic is the achievement of such an accurate relationship.
This is not a challenge only to the qualitative study but to the quantitative study as well. He introduces a claim to validate qualitative research, with a chain of inter-related concepts. First, analytic induction, which is to identify some phenomena and to generate some hypothesis then to take a small body of data to examine it. Third is deviant-case analysis, to involve in different parts of the data and to make correlations between them. Fourth comprehensive data treatment, meaning all parts of the data must at some point be inspected and analysed, and finally, using appropriate tabulation, to give the reader a chance to gain a sense of the flavour of the data as whole Thou that is a claim by an authority of the field, one can view the correspondence between the criteria mentioned by Silverman and the very nature of the qualitative research, particularly, in the case of case study and interviewing, in which the researched are a group of people and an individual.
For example, when a researcher interviews a participant about a subject matter; answers can be taken as data, and transcripts of the interview make it possible to reinterpret and check the research.
Having said this, I argue that to achieve validity in qualitative research is to reduce the gap between reality and representation and the more data and conclusion are correspondent the more a piece of qualitative research is valid.
While a qualitative study might attempt to understand what people mean by what they do in their every day behaviour, here the method differs; interviews and focus groups are appropriate. In this section I will offer some interpretations to the concept of reliability and then to present the possibility of establishing reliability in qualitative study. As it was the case with validity in discussing reliability as well scholars differ in using labels and contents.
Some scholars use the same label i. On the contrary, some other writers introduce different labels in discussing the issue. To put it in other words, dependability is concerned with the idea whether the findings liable to apply at other times and confirmability, concerns the notion whether researchers allow their values to introduce to a high degree.
We do not need to generate a different concept, but rather to understand the concept in a different context. To take Bryman as reference, reliability is about the link between a measure and a concept, and within the context of qualitative study it is about generating a measurable concept. To record the observations consistently is to have a reliable method. Reliability as been discussed and defined within the context of qualitative research is about the methods of conducting a research; it is a methodological concern.
Therefore, the technique by which a qualitative study can be evaluated or regarded reliable is to check whether how and to what extent consistent methods and procedures are used. For instance, with proper tabulated participant observation, ethnography, qualitative interviews, focus groups and conversation analysis research, tapes and transcripts are open to supplementary examination by both researchers and readers; this would allow both to verbalize their ideas about the standpoint of the people who have been studied.
Also for reliability to be calculated, it is mandatory to the qualitative researchers to document their procedure and to reveal that categories have been used consistently. This to say, it is possible for a qualitative research to be properly reliable.
This essay, however, was not a comparison between quality i. In this concluding section, I sum the main points of this paper and state the core argument in relation to the essay question. What can be drawn from content of this essay is that qualitative research should be studied as a separate research strategy, but nonetheless, complementary to the qualitative strategy within the context of social research debate, and on the larger social research spectrum i.
We argued that the current debate in the social science research is one between those two distinct strategies, and additionally I argued that the question whether it is possible for qualitative research to be properly valid and reliable, is central to the debate and this interpretation to the question can be regarded as a contribution to the debate.
First and foremost, I took research as a dialectical interaction of the researcher with the social world through question and answer. And I identified perceptions and views of the researcher as the underlying premise for such a dynamic engagement with the social world, how to perceive it ontologically, how to understand it epistemologically, and hence how to establish an identified role of theory in relation to research.
Qualitative research, as this essay argued, is a proper engagement with the social world, having its constructionist ontology, interpertivist epistemology, and inductivist logic to the role of generating theory in relation to research. Moreover, in this essay I relied on the definitions given by scholars within qualitative research and across the social research context.
The reason for this logic was, in order to know what we argue, first we need to define our concepts, and then to understand similar concepts validity and reliability in different contexts quantitative and qualitative. Based on identified interpretation to qualitative research, and common definitions to the notions of validity and reliability, this essay made an attempt to concertize the three concepts and then to make a correlation amongst them.
Yet it should be kept in mind, the aim of this essay was not identify the relationship between validity and reliability, but rather to identify the position of each in relation to qualitative study and in my view that is the prime concern of the essay question; as I interpret, the possibility of having a qualitative research properly valid, and the possibility of having a qualitative research properly reliable.
Having this in mind, this essay persuasively argued that in qualitative research the possibility of validity rises with effort to reduce the gap between a social reality that have been researched and representation that the research produces, this is, the more data and conclusion in a piece of qualitative research are correspondent the more it is valid.
Regarding reliability, I argued that in qualitative research it refers to the methods of research conduct and to what extend the concepts used, appropriately, describe what they ought to describe. In such a context, reliability is entwined with the notion of consistency of a case, which is allocated for the same category by different observers.
Thus, this essay confirmed the possibility to achieve a properly reliable qualitative research, and argued that the degree of reliability in a qualitative study can be improved with proper tabulated data of findings that are open to supplementary examination by both researchers and readers to enable them articulate their views about the position of the researched, in relation to the research and the researcher.
Therefore to calculate reliability in qualitative research, it is required form the researchers to document their procedure and to show that categories have been used consistently. In this way, with taking into consideration the context of qualitative study, this essay as one interpretation of the question, persuasively argued that it is possible for qualitative research to be properly valid and reliable. Hobbes and T. May eds. Bryman, A. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bulmer, H. Fielding, N. Bulmer ed. Social Research Ethics, London: Macmillan.
How is reliability and validity realized in qualitative research?
Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. Rezapour Nasrabad, R. Criteria of Validity and Reliability in Qualitative Research. Journal of Qualitative Research in Health Sciences , 6 4 , Rafat Rezapour Nasrabad. Journal of Qualitative Research in Health Sciences , 6, 4, ,
Aims to address a gap in the literature about quality criteria for validity and reliability in qualitative research within the realism scientific paradigm. Six comprehensive and explicit criteria for judging realism research are developed, drawing on the three elements of a scientific paradigm of ontology, epistemology and methodology. The first two criteria concern ontology, that is, ontological appropriateness and contingent validity. The third criterion concerns epistemology: multiple perceptions of participants and of peer researchers. The final three criteria concern methodology: methodological trustworthiness, analytic generalisation and construct validity. Comparisons are made with criteria in other paradigms, particularly positivism and constructivism.
Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research
Instrument is the general term that researchers use for a measurement device survey, test, questionnaire, etc. To help distinguish between instrument and instrumentation, consider that the instrument is the device and instrumentation is the course of action the process of developing, testing, and using the device. Instruments fall into two broad categories, researcher-completed and subject-completed, distinguished by those instruments that researchers administer versus those that are completed by participants. Researchers chose which type of instrument, or instruments, to use based on the research question. Examples are listed below:.
Published on July 3, by Fiona Middleton. Revised on June 26, Reliability and validity are concepts used to evaluate the quality of research.
In general practice, qualitative research contributes as significantly as quantitative research, in particular regarding psycho-social aspects of patient-care, health services provision, policy setting, and health administrations. In contrast to quantitative research, qualitative research as a whole has been constantly critiqued, if not disparaged, by the lack of consensus for assessing its quality and robustness. This article illustrates with five published studies how qualitative research can impact and reshape the discipline of primary care, spiraling out from clinic-based health screening to community-based disease monitoring, evaluation of out-of-hours triage services to provincial psychiatric care pathways model and finally, national legislation of core measures for children's healthcare insurance. Fundamental concepts of validity, reliability, and generalizability as applicable to qualitative research are then addressed with an update on the current views and controversies.
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