Internal vs. External Validity

 When reading and evaluating research articles, human services professionals should be able to determine whether that research study is valid and reliable. Establishing validity and reliability in research is important to trust the results from the study and to be able to apply those results to a larger research population.

When looking at different research studies, you will often find that when internal validity is high, external validity is low, and vice versa. In this assignment, you will further explore the interaction between internal and external validity.

Tasks:

Part 1:

Based on the course readings and research, in a minimum of 300–400 words, post your responses to the following:

  • What is internal and external validity? When conducting research, why is there often a trade-off between internal and external validity?
  • Is there a benefit in achieving a high level of one type of validity (internal versus external) over the other? Is there a way to design a study or series of studies to have high internal as well as high external validity? What would be the benefit?

Part 2:

Using the Argosy University online library resources, locate a research study related to the human services field. Share your purpose of research. In about 300 words, post your responses to the following:

  • Evaluate the level of internal and external validity achieved in the study.
  • Discuss how the interpretation of the data is affected by the level of validity (both strengths and weaknesses).

 Reading Material below:

  • Module 3 overview
  • From your course textbook Reading and Understanding Research, 3rd, read the following chapters:

    Types of Research: An Overview of Variety
    Staying Organized When Reading a Quantitative Report
    Staying Organized When Reading a Qualitative Report

  • From your course textbook The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students 2e, read the following chapter:

    Reference Management: Keeping Records and Organizing Information

Suggested Readings

  • From the Argosy University online library resources, read the following articles:

    External Validity and Translation from Research to Implementation
    Integrating Cross-Cultural Psychology Research Methods into Ethnic Minority Psychology
    Validity and Reliability in Social Science Research

Paper Assignments
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