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Threats to Internal and External Validity
It is paramount to note that a range of threats to both the internal and external validity of this particular mock study is currently present. It needs to be said that repeated testing may be viewed as an issue that may affect the internal validity of the research because students may intentionally give different answers (Littlejohn & Foss, 2009). Another issue that may occur is that the effect of one threat may be multiplied by other ones, and it frequently leads to severe complications (Salkind, 2010).
Interactions between numerous factors are especially problematic because they are hard to predict in most cases. It needs to be said that selection may also be perceived as a threat to validity because individuals may demonstrate unusual behavior if they are surrounded by people that they know. Another issue that may occur is that some of the participants may want to drop out, and it is especially problematic if it is done intentionally or there are several instances.
The possibility of unexpected events also should not be disregarded, and it is necessary to limit the influence of external factors in this particular situation. Also, it is imperative to say that another important aspect that should not be disregarded is that the reaction to the study may be affected if students become aware of the purpose, and may make slight modifications to their behavior (Littlejohn & Foss, 2009). The experimenter effect is also a significant external threat that should be accounted for. The issue is that the behavior and responses of students may change depending on the person that is in charge of the study.
It is also paramount to avoid any bias towards any of the participants. Reaction to research is one of the critical threats that also should not be overlooked. It is a known fact that individuals may change their behavior if they know that they are being observed, or a situation is perceived as unusual (Littlejohn & Foss, 2009). The actions of a researcher play a huge role in most instances, and it is paramount to make sure that interactions with participants are appropriate.
Validating a Research Instrument
It needs to be said that the validation of a research instrument is an essential stage of the process that should not be disregarded. One of the ways in which a tool can be validated is expert judgment. Three or more specialists should review the instrument, and make a decision if it is appropriate in a particular situation. Criterion validity and construct validity may also be considered (Rubin & Babbie, 2009). It is extremely likely that research that utilizes an instrument that is not validated will be met with suspicion (Fowler, 2009). An introduction of bias is expected in such cases, and measurement errors are likely to be present.
It is paramount to make sure that all the necessary measures are taken to avoid a poor impression because it may have an adverse impact on the results of the mock study. It needs to be said that the overall perception of social science research may also be affected (Hanges & Wang, 2012). It is understandable that a reaction may be negative if some tools such as survey generators are viewed as not professional. However, this aspect can be addressed. It needs to be said that an introduction of rewards may be used as an option to make sure that participants do not lose their interest in the study and have a positive impression (Toepoel, 2012).
Fowler, F. J. (2009). Survey research methods (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.
Hanges, P. J. & Wang, M. (2012). Seeking the Holy Grail in organizational science: uncovering causality through research design. In W. Filho & D. Carpenter (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Psychology (pp. 79-116). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Littlejohn, S. W. & Foss, K. A. (Eds.). (2009). Encyclopedia of communication theory (Vol. 1). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Rubin, A. & Babbie, E. (2009). Essential research methods for social work. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Salkind, N. J. (Ed.). (2010). Encyclopedia of research design (Vol. 3). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Toepoel, V. (2012). Effect of incentives in surveys. In L. Gideon (Ed.), Handbook of Survey Methodology for the Social Sciences (pp. 209-116). Berlin, DE: Springer Science & Business Media.