Generalisation refers to being able to transfer the findings of research to a wider population. As research is only conducted on a small sample it is important that this sample represents the targeted population
- Can the research be reflective of how the majority of people will react/behave in a similar situation?
Findings of research can be generalised if:
- The sample represents a large range of different types of people
- The research investigates a behaviour that we are all likely to perform or experience in the same way
When talking about generalisability, it can be classed as:
The reliability of a study or theory refers to what happens if it is carried out again if it is replicated - If a carefully planned and controlled study is repeated with the same care, it is a reliable study if the same or similar results are found.
Less reliable = More valid
The more natural the setting, the more valid the study is - but as the setting is more natural, it would be difficult to repeat the same study under the same circumstances so it is less reliable.
Can the study be repeated under more or less the same conditions and is it likely to produce the same results?
If a study is reliable, it must:
- Have clear and standardised instructions that are easy to follow
- Be well controlled
- Be able to select similar sample of people
- Be ethical
This refers to the usefulness and the relevence of a study
A piece of research has high applicability if is it relevant and can be used in everyday life
Some researches have a practical application and therefore can be used in the population
Can the findings of the research be used in real life?
If research is applicable the findings need to:
- Be of a benefit to society
- Be useable in real life
A study is said to be valid if it measures what it sets out to and how realistically or how the variables have been used and changed. Can you say that the research has shown you a true picture of how someone would really behave in real life?
- Internal Validity
- Refers to whether the results of the study were due to the variables - FACE VALIDITY
- Was the task realistic for the study? - TASK VALIDITY
- External Validity
- Refers to whether the results can be generalised if conducted under different conditions and/or using different participants - ECOLOGICAL VALIDITY
- Experiments are not usually ecologically valid because the setting and task is usually artificial
- Research is ecologically valid if:
- It is conducted in a realistic setting
- It allows the participants to act normally
- It is done so the participants are unaware they are involved in the research
Explain the reasons further and explain the practical realities of the limitation
Why is the evaluation point a limitation of the study?