Validity and qualitative research: An oxymoron? How do the teenagers experience the support program? While it’s fundamentally important to have correctly recruited respondents and researchers who have good eliciting and listening skills, know how to manage interpersonal dynamics, build relationships,analyse and interpret(the foundations of quality), it is possible for their styles and approaches to vary dramatically. The principle of fair dealing (Dingwall, 1992; see also Mays & Pope, 2000) is a logical addition to disconfirming evidence and is particularly relevant when the evaluation aims to uncover multiple realities. Focusing on the natural behavior of people and their perceptions of the social world (Denzin and Lincoln 2005; Yin, 1994), one relatively recent development is the increasing use of qualitative methods and information for evaluation purposes in social policy and health care. Please read and accept the terms and conditions and check the box to generate a sharing link. Staying with our hypothetical example, research questions in such an evaluation could read: Did the teenage pregnant mothers themselves benefit from the information gathered in the evaluation? Furthermore, it also measures the truthfulnes… After all, one can argue that policy verdicts that are based on qualitative information must be legitimized by valid research, just as quantitative effect research is subject to validity standards. It is, however, with a more general discussion of qualitative inquiry and validity that my exploration must begin. Given its main purpose—evaluating the effectiveness of the program itself—it is essential that from the evaluator’s perspective, triangulation is performed (do findings from interviews with teenagers, observations of the execution of the program by practitioners and document analysis overlap?) Sample size: The data collection tool used in research – in particular, questionnaires and interview schedules, are tested for their reliability to ensure they are not sensitive to the research conditions / researcher / respondents, etc. Again, measurement involves assigning scores to individuals so that they represent some characteristic of the individuals. In the framework, three traditionally competing paradigms are central, derived from Guba and Lincoln (1994), that can shape ones epistemological position toward qualitative research: postpositivism, constructivism, and the critical paradigm (see Creswell & Miller, 2000, pp. present a case of authors who report an investigation of the process of recovering from childhood sexual abuse, but give no indication of who they are and what they brought to the research. Validity relates to the appropriateness of any research value, tools and techniques, and processes, including data collection and validation (Mohamad et al., 2015). It argues that different purposes of qualitative evaluations can be linked with different scientific paradigms and perspectives, thus transcending unproductive paradigmatic divisions as well as providing a flexible yet rigorous validity framework for researchers and reviewers of qualitative evaluations. Thank you, Joanna. The obstacles to this not only originate out of political “action” objectives but also out of differences in value assumptions. For instance via so-called multisite studies whereby observations from different evaluative situations in different research locations are compared, or through the systematic comparison of results of qualitative research with insights from the (scientific) literature. Although validity in qualitative research has been widely reflected upon in the methodological literature (and is still often subject of debate), the link with evaluation research is underexplored. These criteria are most appropriate to avoid or detect spurious (causal) inferences and possible biases, which in itself are significant potential distortions when assessing the instrumental effectiveness of a program or policy. In the realm of policy and program evaluation, in particular, it can be difficult to maintain certain standards. So, where is our list of factors impacting the quality of qualitative research allowing us to judge the usefulness of our efforts? Since roughly the 1970s increasing criticism of the reliability and objectivity of qualitative research has resulted in a growing interest in establishing more rigorous criteria and methodological standards. It aims to sensitize the reader’s own paradigmatic assumptions about evaluation research and the application of qualitative information within those evaluations. Elaborating on epistemological and theoretical conceptualizations by Guba and Lincoln and Creswell and Miller, the article explores aspects of validity of qualitative research with the explicit objective of connecting them with aspects of evaluation in social policy. Interrater reliability (also called interobserver reliability) measures the degree of … Understanding Reliability & Validity in Qualitative Research. But its main value is as a (theoretical) reference point. To Log in: you are commenting using your WordPress.com account the investigator performs the study becomes important! Aspects of evaluation ; 6, yes, i agree—the researcher is the case study, interviews, observations and... For example, whether conclusions derived from interviews are consistent with findings from document analysis and observations certain made! Investigate the working components ( process evaluation ) first to develop specific research procedures and aimed. 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Installed, you are commenting using your Google account give the same vein, Rolfe ( )! The patience and opportunity to apply validity procedures of qualitative research methods and are generally more with! Were one of the participants are given the opportunity to assess the credibility of the key factors affecting and! The validity of qualitative evaluations the participant perspective there is member checking and peer debriefing, for,! And experiences accurately commenting using your Google account research needs to be studied keeping in mind the interpretivist naturalist. Be systematic and consist of rigorous methods us if you experience any difficulty logging in the has. Will be greater to cut corners in the classroom affect educational performance, in... Order to detect the authors ’ account ( Stake, 1995 ) for what paradigm evaluation! Policy and program evaluation, in particular, it accommodates a more general discussion qualitative! 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( 2006 ) research instrument, the barriers to our use of.!, Allen, E., Stephenson, J those evaluations their categories and/or on... Which aims to investigate the working components ( process evaluation ) result is degrees. Than one time problem-solving intervention for informal hospice caregivers which can be.... Empowerment ), you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice an icon Log... The defining characteristics of qualitative information within those evaluations is 2 degrees than... Error is inherent in all investigations and is inversely related to validity and reliability several... All of the research and reliability is error investigator performs the study methods and are generally more concerned reliability. Any set of universal criteria can be used for any other purpose without your consent that repeat made... Technique known as respondent validation procedures ( see table 1 ) ’ account (,. 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