Qualitative research requires analyzing the reliability and validity of the chosen research design. Validity is an important criterion that conveys the method’s accuracy and confirms whether it measures what it actually claims and whether the result obtained closely agrees with real-world values. Four types of validity need to be considered while ensuring that correct methods are chosen.
Construct validity is one of the types of validity that help ensure whether a measurement tool can measure what the researcher intends to gauge. Therefore, it is essential to find the total validity of a chosen methodology.
What is known as a construct?
A construct closely links to a concept that cannot be observed directly; however, it can be measured from the facts obtained from observing other indicators that are related to the study.
Some of the common examples of a construct are characteristics of an individual, including intellect, obesity, depression or job satisfaction. However, the construct can also be wider concepts related to any business or social groups such as corporate social responsibility, gender equality or freedom of speech.
Example: There is no evident behaviour termed depression that can be measured directly. However, according to psychological research and theory, some symptoms or indicators can be observed and collected, including low self-confidence or low energy and others.
What do you mean by construct validity?
Construct validity confirms that the analysis technique aligns with the actual concept or environment that the researchers intend to measure. For example, if a questionnaire is formed for measuring depression, one needs to ensure that it measures the construct of depression, including mood, self-confidence and others.
To ensure the validity of chosen construct, one needs to confirm whether the factors and measurements are established sensibly based on current information. Thus, the questionnaire should include appropriate questions on identified indicators of depression.
The kinds of validity discussed below can be used as an indication for construct validity.
Content validity is among the most common types of validity that assess whether the chosen test represents all construct areas.
To come up with a valid outcome, the content of the survey or test must cover all appropriate points of the theme it purposes to measure. In case some parts of the measures are missing, then the validity is vulnerable.
Example: A mathematics teacher forms an algebra test paper for the students in the class. In such cases, the test should cover all theories and formulas covered in the class. If some types of concepts are missing in the test, then the result will fail to give accurate details about the understanding of the students about algebra. Likewise, if the test paper comprises questions not associated with algebra, the result no longer remains valid.
Face validity is one of the vital types of validity that measures the suitability of the tests on the surface. Face validity is similar to other types of validity, like content validity; however, it is more informal and involves subjective evaluation.
Example: A survey is created to measure the consistency in the dietary habits of the people. In such cases, the questions included are about every meal of an individual in a day and snack eaten in between in a week. It illustrates that the survey presents a clear representation of what is expected from the test, and thus, the measurement has high face validity.
Among all types of validity, face validity is a subjective method and is often considered the weakest validity method. However, it is the most beneficial measure of validity in the initial phases of forming a method.
Criterion validity helps evaluate the extent to which the result of the chosen test aligns with the results of other tests.
What is meant by criterion?
Criterion is known as the external measurement of a similar thing. It is generally considered a well-known test that is already considered valid.
What do you mean by criterion validity?
To assess the criterion validity, one needs to measure the correlation between the results obtained from one test and the criterion measurement results. If the correlation is high, then it means that the chosen test is valid and measures what it aims to measure.
Example: A college professor forms a new test to measure the English writing capability of applicants. To evaluate the extent to which a test measures the students’ writing ability, one must compare the result with a test that is already considered a valid measurement. If the result is similar to both the tests, then the former test conducted has high criterion validity.
Thus, these are some common types of validity used to measure the accuracy of the chosen test in research.
Validity in research refers to the extent to which the chosen method measures the intended result accurately. The method with high validity means that it can produce correct results that relate to real characteristics and variations.
Validity can be tested using tests that have inter-rater reliability, repeatability and other traits, usually by running the test multiple times whose results can further be compared for accuracy and consistency.
It is one of the commonly perceived types of validity, which refers to tests that measure whether the theories that are not supposed to be connected are unrelated.
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