External Validity - Essay Example

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Validity can be described as the possible estimate of the truth of a specified proposal research or conclusion. Validity is extremely important in determining the perfect conclusion of an experiment conducted. Internal validity helps to determine if the conclusion for an experiment is perfect or not…
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External Validity
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Illustrate the importance of controlling for the threats to internal validity, and explain why external validity must be determined once internal validity is obtained.
Validity can be described as the possible estimate of the truth of a specified proposal research or conclusion. Validity is extremely important in determining the perfect conclusion of an experiment conducted. Internal validity helps to determine if the conclusion for an experiment is perfect or not. In an experiment all the external factors are also to be considered so that a perfect conclusion is derived. For e.g. in a school a scheme is adopted to improve the grades of the students and to check if the scheme is successful or not a test is taken before and after the scheme is implemented. If the grades of the students seem to improve it cannot directly be concluded that the scheme was the factor which improved the grades. So in order to come up with a perfect conclusion all the external factors are also considered. In order to conduct a research and come up with a perfect solution all the threats to internal validity should be analyzed. If the threats to internal validity are not analyzed and controlled they can and might distort the result or conclusion of the experiment conducted. For e.g. in the above mentioned example other factors can also lead to the improvement of the grades. Other factors like the diet of students, concentration of the students etc. Hence if the researcher concludes that the scheme was the only factor which improved the grades of the students without analyzing other threats or factors he would possibly face several criticism. And his conclusion would not be confirmed until and unless all the factors that can affect the grades of the students are reviewed. This shows that the threats to the internal validity have a great importance and a conclusion cannot be derived without controlling and analyzing these threats.
An experiment is conducted to confirm the cause of a certain state, situation or action. If the threats posed to internal validity are removed a possible conclusion can be derived for the experiment conducted. But after the internal validity is obtained it is necessary for the researcher to find out the external validity. External validity engages the degree to which the outcome of an experiment can be applied. For e.g. the scheme adopted in one school to improve the students grades would not necessarily be effective in the other schools because of different procedures and systems. After the internal validity is derived it is necessary for the researcher to determine the external validity too so the result of the experiment can be applied to other samples too. If the external validity is determined it would help other people to use the conclusion of the experiment conducted usefully. The researcher before giving a conclusion to the experiment should analyze the ecological and population factors so that the conclusion can be used universally. External validity is directly dependent upon the effectiveness of internal validity. In order to correctly derive the external validity the researcher has to conduct the experiment in such an environment that the results or conclusions can be used universally.
Tebes, J. K. "External Validity and Scientific Psychology." AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST. 55 (2000): 1508.
Meltzoff, Julian. Critical Thinking About Research: Psychology and Related Fields. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1998. Read More
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