The difference between a valid operational definition and a reliable operational definition
While describing the difference between a valid operational definition and a reliable operational definition, one is to understand the principal issue of the subject of discussion. Thus, valid operational definitions are related to uncertain results. On the other hand, reliable operational definitions are considered to be the definitions when the results of numerous researches/investigations or tasks are to be the same or precise.
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In other words, many people can perform certain tasks; however, the results are to be the same all the time if the operation is reliable. Uncertain/unclear results are possible if the operations are valid. Taking into account the difference between the definitions, one can conclude that operational definition is a variable value. Thus, while measuring a variable, one is to know what definition he/she is to keep in mind to do the task.
According to Denny Borsboom (2004): A test is valid for measuring an attribute if (a) the attribute exists and (b) variations in the attribute causally produce variation in the measurement outcomes. This conception is shown to diverge from current validity theory in several respects. In particular, the emphasis in the proposed conception is on ontology, reference, and causality, whereas current validity theory focuses on epistemology, meaning, and correlation. (p. 1061)
The issue of validity is not as simple as it seems for the first time. For instance, the earliest definitions of validity are related to the degree of correlation between the test and some certain standards. Thus, the reliability of the test and the standards concerns with a precise limit on the possible correlation between the two issues. In this case, one is to keep in mind the issue of the validity coefficient.
Ontology versus Epistemology
While explaining how the issues of epistemology and ontology are addressed in various works, I would like you to draw your attention to the position of Borsboom (2004) who says that “if the crucial issue invalidity concerns the existence of an attribute that causally influences the outcome of the measurement procedure, then the central claim is ontological and not epistemological.” (p. 1062) For this reason, one is to understand that various events and their casual impact on smth are related to the concept of ontology.
As far as epistemology concerns with human knowledge and studies various objective issues, one can say that epistemology is related to reality, while ontology concerns more with the issues of existence and the essential features. However, despite the different subjects of investigation, the ontology and the epistemology are interdependent issues. So, Borsboom affirms “in the case of measurement, it would seem that to talk about the ontology is to talk about the epistemology, and there surely is a sense in which this is correct.” (p. 1062)
Generally, ontological studies include universals and particulars, substance and accident, abstract and concrete, essence and existence, determinism and indeterminism. On the other hand, epistemology covers the experience, a priori knowledge, and a posteriori knowledge.
So, Borsboom (2004) thinks that “the essential question of validity is about particular aspects of the epistemological process called measurement.” (p. 1062) Thus, Borsboom concludes that “validity is about ontology; validation is about epistemology.” (p. 1063)
Generally, the sciences can’t exist separately. Thus, Neville Spencer (2000) states that “the muddling of issues of ontology (the study of being – essentially studying questions of what kinds of entities exist) and issues of epistemology (the study of knowing – essentially studying what knowledge is and how it is possible) has been one of the key confusions in philosophy. This has been the case with numerous general schools of philosophy, almost always taking the form of ignoring ontology in favor of epistemology.” (p. 1)Dependence of enterprise profitability on the level of implementation of information technology.
Borsboom, D., Mellenbergh, G., Van Heerden, J. (2004). The Concept of Validity. University of Amsterdam & Maastricht University. Web.
Spencer, N. (2000). On the Significance of Distinguishing Ontology and Epistemology. Web.