Reliability and validity

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  • Reliability and Validity
    • Reliability
      • Refers to consistency of measurement i.e get the same result every time
      • Internal: How consistent a method is inside the study e.g same method for everyone, standardised methods
      • External: Consistency over time and on different occasions e.g you look at it again/someone else looks at it and finds same results
      • Experiments more reliable because they are easy to replicate- simple procedure, change one variable, control all other factors
      • Observations not reliable: subjective/observer bias. Improved by    operationalizing observations by using behaviour checklist, split half method, test-retest method
      • Split half method: One half of test compared to the other to check if scores are consistent
      • Test-retest method: Test carried out on same/similar participants several times and similarity of results recorded.
      • Higher correlation coefficient= higher reliability
    • Validity
      • Whether a study measures exactly what is meant to measure and whether behaviour truly represents what the researcher is investigating
      • Internal: Measuring the right variable/ control e.g controlling extraneous variables
      • External: What goes on outside experiment, generalising to other people/ situations (ecological/ population validity)
      • Lab experiment valid: Extraneous variables controlled, internal validity. However, lacks EV  peoples behaviour may be different in artificial environment
      • Self report data not valid: Social desirability decreases accuracy, low internal validity
      • Pilot study: First study to test any potential issues and operationalize all variables


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