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External, Internal, and Construct Validity

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 4 (959 words)
Categories: Activity, Compare And Contrast, Health, Health Care, Other, Research, Science, Science, Scientific method, Scientific method
Downloads: 36
Views: 148

Compare and Contrast the characteristics of external, internal, and construct validity Internal, external, and construct validity are all forms of validity which determines the validity of the research. While they all assess the making of the particular program they differ in the way they are used as discussed below. Construct Validity In the case of construct validity, its characteristic is that it is used to measure characteristics.

Commonly used in social science and psychometrics research, the construct validity measures characteristics using a number of sets of observable indicators where the correlation of the given variables is being examined or evaluated.

Trochim defines it as “degree to which inferences can legitimately be made from the operationalizations. For Trochim, (Trochim chap. 3, pp. 56-59); operationalizations mean the translation of an idea or construct into something real.

Hence, when one has an idea of a program he or she would like to create, the construct validity “is the degree to which the actual program reflect the ideal or the program that has been conceptualized or envisioned.

The characteristics therefore of construct validity is that it is used to measure the characteristic of the particular program. As Zikmund noted construct validity in its simplest form: “if the measure behaves the way it is supposed to, in a pattern of intercorrelation with a variety of other variables, there is evidence for construct validity” (Zikmund, p.

303). External In contrast with construct validity which is referred to as a measure use to determine characteristics of a particular program, the external validity refers to the generalizability or representativeness of experimental effects or program treatments. In other words while construct validity is use to measures characteristics, external validity is concerned with the degree to which “results may be both justified as representative of the situation in which they were generated and have claims to generality” (Clegg, S.

Hardy, C. Lawrence, T. & Nord, W. 2006, p. 399). The characteristic of external validity then is that it determines results in terms of the extent to which the conclusion can be applied. Internal Validity Internal validity on the other hand, is concerned with establishing whether no other factors, on which Data may or may not have been recorded, could explain the research findings. For Trochim, internal validity is the approximate truth of the study involving causal relationship.

Unlike constructive validity and external validity, the characteristic of internal validity of research is that it determines how close the inference to the truth is. In other words, internal validity is concerned how good the research is, as a research. Identify the threats to external and construct validity Regarding threats to external validity Creswell stated “External validity threats arise when experimenters draw incorrect inferences from the sample data to other persons, other settings, and past or future situations (p. 171).

Creswell further stated that threats arise when the researcher “generalizes beyond the groups in the experiment to other racial or social groups not under study. Creswell identified the three major threats to external validity as follows: the first is the selection treatment interaction which concerns the ability of the researcher to generalize the results of study beyond groups involved in the study, second is the setting treatment interaction which concerns the extent to which the environmental conditions or setting under which an experimental study was conducted can be duplicated in other settings.

The third and the final threat is the history treatment interaction which according to Creswell “This threat to external validity develops when the researcher tries to generalize findings to past and future situations (As cited by Cottrell & McKenzie 2005, p. 175). The threats to construct validity on the hand “occur when investigator use inadequate definitions and measures of variables” (Creswell, p. 171). Mallette and Duke (2004) stated that the most common threat to construct validity “is the failure to fully explicate and define a given construct” (p.

122). Another threat to construct validity according to Mallette and Duke (2004) is confounding of construct (p. 123). Finally, the common threat to construct validity is what Mallette and Duke (2004) calls it as Mono-operation bias. An example to this according to Mallette and Duke (2004) is using only word-level intervention to improve reading comprehension skills or only a single measure of reading comprehension to evaluate the effects of word level intervention on growth in reading comprehension. How validity issues could impact your envisioned research

Research makes sense only when it is reliable and valid. That is, if research done has passed the traditional test of validity as validity and reliability represents the standards on which research is judge. Hence, validity issues play an important role in envisioned future research. One way that validity issue could possibly impact envisioned future research is that researcher will have a better chance of doing reliable research as he or she could avoid validity threats to that could influence the outcome of the research.

While this validity issues such as internal, external, and construct validity assess the making of a research through their respective functioning, they also provides a way by which the researcher could pause a while and examine whether the research on progress follows exactly the path of validity. Thus, validity issues could impact future research through the benefits these issues offer in the form of test measures that would help researcher avoid various threats that may affect the validity of research.


  1. Clegg, S. , Hardy, C. , Lawrence, T. , & Nord, W. (2006) Great Britain: SAGE Publication Cottrell, R. & McKenzie, J. (2005) Health Promotion and Education Research Methods USA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers Creswell Quantitative Methods
  2. Mallette, M. H. & Duke, N. K. (2004) Literacy Research Methodologies USA: The Guilford Press Trochim Observation and management Zikmund Measurement and Scaling Concepts

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External, Internal, and Construct Validity. (2016, Dec 28). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/external-internal-and-construct-validity-essay

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