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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 87-92

Survey research methods: Preparing a validity argument

Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. George M Harrison
Curriculum Research & Development Group, College of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1776 University Avenue, Honolulu 96822, Hawaii
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_32_20

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Validity occupies a central role in studies that use survey instruments to contribute to their research conclusions. In a typical process, researchers collect survey data, draw inferential claims about what those data mean, and imply how these interpretations should be used. In this article, we introduce the argument-based approach to validation as a means to clarify and evaluate these claims and their underlying assumptions. We provide an example of how to prepare an argument by stating the proposed interpretations of a nurse practitioner survey along with the anticipated challenges to these inferential claims. We propose the types of evidence we need to counter these challenges and anticipate the limitations that will remain. Using this approach, we economize our validation work, identify evidence that we might otherwise overlook, and avert overstated claims. Researchers can employ similar methods to document their validation work and further strengthen their larger research conclusions.

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