Validity in Research, Coursework Example

Q1 | Summarise your research manuscript topic and the type of data you are analyzing.

The type of research is empirical and qualitative research examining Type 2 Diabetes, with particular focus on African/Americans.  The purpose of the research is to examine a sample population of Arican/American women who are obese and living with type 2 diabetes and how intervention programs work over time.   The data will be basic clinical data samples  that will include items like weight data, insulin blood levels, family history etc.  Qualitative research based upon some 200 random samples.

Q2 | What types of instruments were used to gather the data

The base data is extrapolated from basic clinical data examined on a bi-monthly basis for up to a two year period.  Primary research data by sampling, interviews, surveys etc.

Q3 | Explain how the types of instruments could influence your study

The main concept of research is to analyse information in order to prove or disprove hypothesis, theories and opinions. In order to accomplish this the information would be useless if it was inaccurate or invalid. As such there is an importance in the concept of validity. Validity is determined by asking questions like ‘ what is being measured’? The actual importance of validity rests upon the ‘soundness of theoretical presupposition of a study’ and as such any theory must be stable supporting logical conclusions from the research made. Validity is again rooted in positivism and the works of Thomas Kuhn. There is however scope for new thought processes and validity within the confines of empirical research, particularly  concerning validity and that of ideological research. (Lather, P. 1986).  |  “Qualitative researchers rely — implicitly or explicitly — on a variety of understandings and corresponding types of validity in the process of describing, interpreting, and explaining phenomena of interest” (Maxwell, J.A. 2010)

Q4 | What are the greatest threats to validity of your study?

The question of reliability is validity and is to do with the term ‘measurement’. For example it is not possible to perfectly control an experiment or to have a perfectly calibrated instrument. As such there is always a level of inaccuracy presented to  any scenario. The scientific world views validity as a common denominator in both cause and effect; as such it is concerned about the measurement criteria or the basis for measurement. There are a number of different pitfalls with ‘validity’ as a concept. One relates to that of reliability and another considers interpretation and ambiguity. The very meaning of words leaves scope for misinterpretation and ambiguity. (Kirk, J. 1986).



Kirk, J. (1986). Reliability and validity in qualitative research. London: Sage.

Lather, P. (1986). Issues of validity in open ideological research. Interchange, Vol 17, 63-84.

Maxwell, J. (2010). Understanding and Validity in qualitative research. Hardward Educational Review, 279-301.