External Validity: Designing Quantitative Research

External Validity: Designing Quantitative Research
External Validity: Designing Quantitative Research

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External Validity: Designing Quantitative Research


The results of a research study are significant in the event that they can be considered as accurate and confidently in their interpretation. The element of accuracy and confidence in the interpretation of a research study’s result is subsequently dependent on the validity of the study. Validity in this case infers to the degree in which a research study’s inferences can be articulated from the results of the study.  In consideration of this, there are two primary aspects of validity that include the internal and the external validity.   

Internal Validity

            This can be established as the extent in which the results of a research study are considered as a function of the variables that are manipulated in a systematic way, measured and observed during a study. An example of this can be seen in a researcher determined to establish which of the two instructional approaches are superior in teaching a mathematical concept within a classroom setting (Haegele, & Hodge, 2015).

The researcher would be intrigued to encourage two tutors to use each of the instructional methods and then take a comparison of the mean test scores of each and every class following the use of the instructional method. The validity of this study can be depicted in the tutors efficiency and enthusiasm in using the instructional method, the interest of the class and their preparation. In this case, it is essential to establish that some of the potential threats of internal validity include:


            History can be considered as the occurrence of events that are prone to alter the end result or outcome of a research study. In this case, before conducting a research study, it is essential to determine that a previous history is likely to have taken place (Haegele, & Hodge, 2015). For instance, a study on the effectiveness of a new concept used in teaching a unit on the biology of a nervous system may be overtaken by history since many students may have watched a documentary on this on the television.


            The aspect of maturation depicts the changes that are likely to occur on the subjects of a study during the research period. These changes are considered as not part of a study since they are likely to affect studies results (Haegele, & Hodge, 2015). For example, in a biological growth process, a researcher may be forced to consider the element of weight gain or the increase in an individual’s height that results from lunch or breakfast programs as a change that may occur during a study.

Mitigating the Potential Threats of Internal Validity

            In addressing the element of history in internal validity, a research may consider using a control group that is selected within the same population within an experimental group (Haegele, & Hodge, 2015). This group therefore needs to experience the same history as the experimental group, an aspect that would eliminate the effects of history. On the other hand, the duration of an experiment may be shortened in reducing such effects. On the other hand, the effects of maturation can be compared to those of maturation and can be mitigated through the selection of the same population from as that of an experimental group and the study period may be shortened as well.

External Validity

            This refers to the extent in which a studies result can be generalized in a confident way to a larger group that engaged in the study (Haegele, & Hodge, 2015). In this case, a researcher needs to determine the reasons behind the use of variables that are similar to the aspects that exist within the larger population. Some of the potential threats of an external validity include:

The Selection-treatment Interaction:

            This is primarily considered as the possibility of the selected participants characteristics interactions with some elements of the treatment (Haegele, & Hodge, 2015). This may therefore include the participants learning, prior experiences, personality or any other elements that may interact with the effects of the study.

Effects of an Experimentation Arrangement

This primarily infers to the situations in which the participants of a study become aware of their involvement in a study and as a result of this, their performance and response changes from what would have been.

The possible approaches of mitigating threats to external validity include the inclusion of an efficient design by adding treatment or control groups and differential waves of measurement (Haegele, & Hodge, 2015). On the other hand, a researcher may also consider the use of statistical analysis

Ethical Issue in Quantitative Research

            Ethics can be perceived as the development of a good study conduct with the aim of making moral judgments on the element of good conduct. In quantitative research, one of the ethical issues that need to be given consideration is the acquisition of the participants consent in a study (Haegele, & Hodge, 2015). This may influence the design decision of a study since the researchers may have to include efficient methods aimed at attaining the consents of participants in a research study.

Amenability of a Research to Scientific Study Using a Quantitative Approach

In considering this, it is vital to establish that this element enables a researcher to scientifically establish the primary causes of his/her observations with the aim of in providing unambiguous answers to the research studies intent. This element remains essential since without it, the cause of an effect may not be established and isolated.

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Main Issue Post

            As established, the primary issues established in this post can be seen in the construction of a social variable that determines the limitations of racial identity with the biological differences that exist among races (Haegele, & Hodge, 2015). It is essential to consider that an individual’s experience on different faces may be viewed as systematically different within particular societies based on how these societies take cognizance of the element of racial differences.

            An instance of this can be viewed in the manner in which multiple races are socially contracted among the whites in U.S. Numerous immigrant groups that are now classified as Whites that include the Eastern Europeans and the Irish populations were first considered as racially different from other groups that include the North European and Western regions. In this case, racial identities may be viewed as changing as a result of the assimilation of demographic groups that differentiate themselves from other groups as a result of political, economic and social variables.

Response Post

            As a researcher, it is credible to take cognizance of the possibilities that result in the social construction and the manner in which such constructions affect the meaning of a studies variable. This is ion consideration of the fact that variables are constructed to have immense influence on studies validity (Haegele, & Hodge, 2015). This therefore requires a clear and concise definition of each and every variable in a study with the aim of increasing the validity of the study.  On the other hand, it is vital to establish the context in which research data is collected and interpreted.


As determined in this study, the element of internal and external validity plays a significant role in a study since they determine the confidentiality and accuracy of a research design.


Haegele, J. A., & Hodge, S. R. (2015). Quantitative Methodology: A Guide for Emerging Physical Education and Adapted Physical Education Researchers. Physical Educator, 7259-75.

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