Week 6: Quantitative Research Designs, Continued
No discussion about quantitative research design would be complete without mention of validity and reliability. Most broadly, validity refers to meaningfulness and reliability refers to consistency. Together, validity and reliability serve as the foundation for sound scientific inquiry. When quantitative researchers design and implement their research, they do so to identify valid and reliable descriptions, relationships, and/or predictions.
This week, you will consider the threats to validity in quantitative research and explore strategies to mitigate these threats. You will also consider the ethical issues in quantitative research, the implications these issues have on design decisions, and the strategies used to address them. You will also annotate a quantitative journal article on a research topic of your interest.
- Explain threats to internal validity and external validity in quantitative research
- Explain strategies to mitigate threats to internal validity and external validity in quantitative research
- Identify ethical issues in quantitative research
- Explain how ethical issues influence design decisions in quantitative research
- Explain criteria for a research topic to be amenable to scientific study using a quantitative approach
- Apply strategies for addressing ethical issues in quantitative research
- Annotate a quantitative research article
- Apply APA Style to writing
Discussion: Designing Quantitative Research
Researchers consider validity and reliability with each new study they design. This is because validity and reliability are not fixed but rather reflect a particular study’s unique variables, research design, instruments, and participants.
In the context of research design, two types of validity, which speak to the quality of different features of the research process, are considered: internal validity and external validity. Assuming that the findings of a research study are internally valid—i.e., the researcher has used controls to determine that the outcome is indeed due to manipulation of the independent variable or the treatment—external validity refers to the extent to which the findings can be generalized from the sample to the population or to other settings and groups. Reliability refers to the replicability of the findings.
For this Discussion, you will consider threats to internal and external validity in quantitative research and the strategies used to mitigate these threats. You will also consider the ethical implications of designing quantitative research.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 4 (Thursday, Jul 4th)
Post an explanation of a threat to internal validity and a threat to external validity in quantitative research. Next, explain a strategy to mitigate each of these threats. Then, identify a potential ethical issue in quantitative research and explain how it might influence design decisions. Finally, explain what it means for a research topic to be amenable to scientific study using a quantitative approach.