Validity is the extent to which a test measures what it claims to measure. It is essential for a test to be valid in order for the results to be accurately applied and interpreted. Validity isn’t determined by a single statistic, but by a body of research that demonstrates the relationship between the test and the behavior it has set out to measure.
This paper examines the issue of validity research, comparing, and contrasting the characteristics of internal, external, and construct validity, while identifying the threats to them. It also briefly reflects upon how validity could impact the research I’ve envisioned on the “Effect of Emotional intelligence on Effectiveness of Organizational Leaders and the Enterprise with Special Reference to Information Security”.
The term validity expresses the degree to which a given research design actually measures what it sets out to measure, given that the central aim of research design is to establish a relationship between the independent and dependent variables with a high degree of certainty (Bless et al. 2006, p. 93).
The internal validity of a research design refers to there being a relation between observed changes in the dependent variable, and the independent variable. It is about the isolation of the dependent variable, whereby alternative explanations to the hypothesis are ruled out in the research design. This makes it impossible for observed changes in the dependent variable to be attributed to anything other than the independent variable (Bless et al. 2006, p. 93). Internal validity is crucial in any study that aims to establish a relationship of causality between variables, and does not apply to most descriptive and observational studies. However, it is a very important consideration in the type of observational studies that seek to observe the effects of interventions and programs (Trochim & Donnelly 2008, p. 158). Like these studies, the proposed research, too, looks to examine the effects of emotional intelligence of the leaders in organizations as it relates to information security, and internal validity will play a huge role here. Threats to internal validity would simply be competing explanations for observations, apart from the one proffered. (Blankenship 2010). These shall be identified in research design stage.
One of the things most difficult to grasp about internal validity is that it is only relevant to the specific study in under research. You can also think of internal validity as a zero generalizability concern. Internal validity further means that there is evidence that what you did in the study caused what you observed. Internal validity does not tell you whether what you did for the research was what you wanted to do or whether what you observed was what you wanted to observe.
External validity refers to the generalizability of the results of a given research, that is, the extent to which the results of a...