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Can qualitative research be valid and reliable - Essay Example

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Can Qualitative Research Be Valid and Reliable? Bryman (2008:31) describes qualitative research validity as the “integrity of the conclusions that are generated from a piece of research”. Basing the description of qualitative research validity on his definition and other prior classification, validity refers to the accurate association between the research data and the conclusion of the researcher and more so, the achievement of a correct relationship…
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Can qualitative research be valid and reliable
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Download file to see previous pages This is because without the help of this guideline we cannot determine whether when standard procedures are used to analyze data, will result to inferences that are biased. This suggests that it only by understands the activities in data generation process that will enable one produce a valid explanatory inference. Kirk and Miller (1985:25) state that most methodologies used in qualitative research come in package with a range of reliability checks but none with validity. Therefore, social science relies almost completely on methods that are used to assure reliability considering that ideal validity is not achievable in theory. This idea is based on the fact that all measurement is to some extent are suspect because all measuring instruments cannot be perfectly controlled. This brings an argument that the tool used to measure in a research is closely related to the subject under observation and to that; it is apparently providing applicable data. According to Silverman (2006:43), it is not to be assumed that the only way to ascertain the validity of qualitative research is through the use of techniques used in quantitative research. Other attempts have been made to establish qualitative investigations validity. The decision of which observation is to be selected in qualitative research, is very critical for the conclusion of the study and to the degree its product’s determination and its reliability. Many opportunities are present that permit bias to interrupt our selection methods. This is because often selection conditions in qualitative research are implicit and made with no self conscious challenge to assess possible biases. Many sources of biases are invited when randomness is abandoned during selection (King, Keohane and Verba, 2001:128). According to Silverman (2006:279-89), reliability in the context of qualitative research has been related to the generation of a measurable concept. This implies that consistently recording of observations is a reliable method. Similarly, researchers believe that reliability is the dependability of the degree of consistency. Having pointed out that, researchers use a variety of methods when collecting data such as interviews, participation and documents among others to collect their observations hence creating a consistent record of observations (Rubin and Babbie, 2010). Though opinions vary regarding the degree of reliability that can be addressed in qualitative research, there is a sound interpretation by Silverman that need to be considered. When measuring a concept by construct validity, the measure of a concept is related to another concept’s measure whereby the two concepts are said to be related, illustration of construct validity is done in this way. This involves a researcher to specify that the two concepts are related (Ragin, Nagel and White, 2004). This implies that when the measures are related, each measure has construct validity of the other but if they are not related then there is no construct validity. Measures lack face validity if good reasons emerge to question the correlation of the measure to the concept under study. This measure of validity is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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