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CRIM 321 (31)


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Simon Fraser University
CRIM 321
Sheri Fabian

Conducting credible research: addressing validity & reliability in QLR Metaphor for QLR  Parable of blind men and elephant  Observing phenomena from multiple perspectives  Understanding whole by putting together what you learn about parts Primary distinctions  Quant Research - Seek cause and effect, ability to predict based on results and generalizability of findings to other larger populations  Qualitative research - Seek illumination, understanding, and extrapolation to similar situation Validity in Quant research  Des research measure what intended to measure? - Considers how truthful result are - Assumes objectivity Validity in QLR  Validity – whether what observed is, in fact, what happened  Truth – complex issues  KEY – be honest about perspective and experience - Don’t pretend true objectivity exists  Is researcher’s understanding and explanation credible? - Plausibility – not measurement accuracy Establishing validity in QLR  Craftsmanship - Demonstrate integrity - Show that considered alternative interpretations and explanations  Communicative - Dialogue - Peer review  Pragmatic - Research impact  Triangulation Achieving validity in QLR  Ask questions throughout research and include in discussion - Predilections? - Feeling about observations? - What might be missing? - Assumptions?  Key – reflexivity - Make discussions part of “explicit” record Reliability in quant research  Stability of measurement - Replication  Strategies - Test-retest reliability (over time) - Inter-rater reliability (across researchers) - (accuracy and consistency)  Embrace involvement and role in research process - Acknowledge changing context - Consider whether original ideas are shifting as collect data - Assess and consider impact of context on finding and analysis Establishing reliability in QLR  Check and recheck accuracy of data - Coding schemes accurately and consistently reflect data - Clarify with interviewees and follow up as needed - Talk to people during field work to see if interpretations make sense to them - Move back and forth between data sources and insights to make sure they are in sync (make sense) o (Is it logical?) Achieving reliability in QLR  Questions to ask - Are data consistent? - What patterns can be discerned, distinguished and explained? o Internal consistency o External consistency Reframing validity & reliability  Credibility  In QLR the “*r+esercher is the instrument” (Patton, 2001:1.4) - Credibility depends on ability and efforts of researcher (Golafshani 2003:600) Achieving credibility in QLR  Verification processes - Prolonged engagement & persistent observation - Triangulation - Peer review and debriefing - Negative case analysis (can’t cherry pick) - Clarification of researcher bias (reflecting on your own, aware your bias) - Member checking - Rich think description - External audit
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