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Reliability and Validity Paper

Essay by   •  December 21, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  946 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,708 Views

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Reliability and Validity Paper

In human services profession there are a large amount of data that are collected and analyzed to make decisions regarding what is in the best interest of each individual. The majority of the data that is collected in the human services research are based on the tests. The research and test is conducted to provide the most effective program possible to help individuals. The testing methods should be reliable and valid. Reliability and validity must be consistent and specific. In this paper it will discuss the types of reliability and validity and provide examples of how each can be applied to the human services research. Also, this paper will discuss the methods of gathering data in the human services and why it is important for these methods to have reliability and validity.

Reliability

Reliability is referred to as the quality or state of being reliable; specifically: the extent to which an experiment, test, or measuring procedure yields the same result on repeated trials (Reliability., 2012). It is the consistency of a measure. A test is reliable if the results are repeated (Cherry, 2010). For a test to be reliable, the results must be approximately the same each time it is administered. It does not matter why a test is being given but it matters if the results are reliable and accurate. However, it is impossible to determine the exact reliability, but it can be estimated in a number of different ways (Cherry, 2010). There are several different types of reliability. They are item-to-item, judge-to-judge, internal-consistency, alternate-form, and test-retest reliability. Item-to-item reliability and judge-to-judge reliability are almost the same. Item-to-item reliability is the reliability of any single item on average and judge-to-judge is the reliability of any single judge on average (Rosnow & Rosenthal, 2008). Internal-consistency reliability is how reliable the test is as a whole or how judges score (Rosnow & Rosenthal, 2008). Alternate-form reliability is the degree of relatedness of different forms of the same test (Rosnow & Rosenthal, 2008). Finally, test-retest reliability is the degrees of stability of a measuring instrument or test (Rosnow & Rosenthal, 2008).

Each type of reliability is used in the human services research. It is so important that the researcher must be sure the test he or she is using is reliable. For example the alternate-form reliability, if the researcher had gave the clients the same test, but the wording is different, the results would be the same. If the results are different, then the test would be monitored. The researcher would look at the internal-consistency, item-to-item, and judge-to-judge reliability. Depending on the outcome of the test will determine how reliable the characteristics of the test are.

Validity

Validity is a measure of how well something does and how valid the research method is according to what it is based on. Validity refers to whether a study is able to scientifically answer the questions it is intended to answer. The measure in question might be a psychological test of some kind, a group of judges who rate things, a functional MRI scanner for monitoring brain activity, or any other instrument or measuring tool (Rosnow & Rosenthal,

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