Essay on Determining Validity

Published: 2021-07-02
885 words
4 pages
8 min to read
Vanderbilt University
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The concept of validity was designed or rather formulated by Kelly in 1927, and it stated that any test is only valid if it outlines what it was supposed to outline. That is if it supposed to measure something it would be valid until it measures it. This can be proven through the following two ways:

Predictive validity which measures the accuracy of a test by predicting its occurrence in the future. Its main advantage is that it shows the relationship between the future considerations and also test scores hence making it suitable for the tests that are used in selection. However, despite its suitability in being used in test selections, it takes an extended period to obtain results from these tests. On the other hand, concurrent validity shows how much the test responds to the external incidences which are probably occurring at the same time. Mostly a comparison with another actual test is carried out. The advantages of this validity are its coefficient can be obtained fast, and hence the data is obtained quickly. Nevertheless, in case a person wants to make the selection, they will pick Predictive validity since it can predict the outcome of the future something that the concurrent validity cannot be able to do(Wells & Wollack,2003).

Reliability is the consistency of the scores or results from a test that was measured. Most of the research studies have to be consistent for them to be termed reliable by the students or researchers. Reliability can be applied in the following two situations as per this case. Firstly, Internal consistency which measures the correlation of two different variables of the same test. While External reliability measures how consistent are the results that are how a measure varies from one use to another. Through reliable data, one can be able to draw final decisions depending on the findings revealed by the measured test. In such a case whereby one is supposed to observe the change of behavior in children with autism to different stimuli, then predictive validity can be the best method to validate the test. This is because one can be able to predict the change of behavior of the kid in the future using the predictive validity coefficient. This also helps in the selection procedure, and it also reduces tantrums. In the reliability part, external reliability will establish the consistency of the subjects or a subject under the test of change. This makes it easy for a validation coefficient to be obtained and most importantly is the fact that there is no delay in obtaining data (Wells & Wollack,2003).

Concurrent validity is theoretically less appropriate to use in cases of selection in that it cannot be used to foretell of the future possibilities unlike the case of predictive validity. Hence it can only be used to access the current situations instead of assessing the potential of a test. This is mainly used in short term researchers that want answers based on the current happens and not on something that will occur in the future. Random errors of measurements can influence the reliability of data corrected on behavioral changes. However, the data can either be the systematic or behavioral error(Drost,2011). This is why internal reliability focuses on finding out whether the effects that were identified in the study were due to the manipulation of the independent variables. It can be improved through using standardized instructions that something that will be utilized in all the tests to be carried out or counterbalancing the variables also getting rid of the demand characteristics and investigators effects can make it more reliable. Through the external reliability coefficient, one can identify the extent in which the data can be generalized to other settings, people or even over time. It can also be improved just like the internal one through random sampling and setting experiments in a natural setting (Drost,2011).

These factors are the best ways in which one can comfortably prove that his or her research is reliable mostly to the scholars who mainly tend to criticize the work done by other researchers. Through these factors, it becomes so easy to validate the work one has done most especially if the predictive validity has been used. Predictive validity not only gives some predictions to the future it also allows the people were carrying out the research work to plan in advance in case of any problems anticipated to occur late. Measuring reliability offers a benefit of the doubt on the topic researched on since one carried out various researchers before drawing to a constructive conclusion(Golafshani,2003). Test-retest reliability ensures there is consistency and also the accuracy of the data being corrected before any conclusions are made this is one of the approaches of reliability that has helped to maintain consistency. Internal factors also play a great role to achieve consistency of the data is corrected. Conclusively, validity and reliability are one of the most vital tools that each researcher should uphold for them to maintain high standards (Golafshani,2003).


Wells, C. S., & Wollack, J. A. (2003). An instructors guide to understanding test reliability. Testing & Evaluation Services. The university of Wisconsin.

Drost, E. A. (2011). Validity and reliability in social science research. Education Research and Perspectives, 38(1), 105.

Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research. The qualitative report, 8(4), 597-606.

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