Factors in effective information gathering

Accuracy (i.e., Validity)

It is also very important to make sure the information gathering methods are accurate (i.e., valid). Accuracy (i.e., validity) refers to whether or not an instrument or method truly measures what you think it measures. Researchers want accurate or valid study procedures so that study results are useful and meaningful.

There are many things that affect the accuracy (i.e., validity) of an instrument or method. These include the cultural appropriateness, the theoretical constructs used to develop the instrument or method, and the appropriateness of the testing method or form of the instrument for the participants' abilities (among many others).

To demonstrate that study measures are accurate, researchers will sometimes collect different kinds of information to measure the same thing. They then look to see if all of the methods or instruments provide the same or similar conclusions. If they do, the researcher can be confident that what they have found actually represents what they intended to study.

Along with lack of precision (i.e., reliability), research studies are often criticized because of the use of inaccurate methods to gather information. Measurement accuracy (i.e., validity) is essential in order to guarantee the quality and integrity of the research findings.

Case example of accuracy (i.e., validity)


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