Reliability and Validity of Qualitative and Operational Research Paradigm

Muhammad Bashir, Muhammad Tanveer Afzal, Muhammad Azeem

Abstract


Both qualitative and quantitative paradigms try to find the same result; the truth. Qualitative studies are tools used in understanding and describing the world of human experience. Since we maintain our humanity throughout the research process, it is largely impossible to escape the subjective experience, even for the most experienced of researchers.

Reliability and Validity are the issue that has been described in great deal by advocates of quantitative researchers. The validity and the norms of rigor that are applied to quantitative research are not entirely applicable to qualitative research. Validity in qualitative research means the extent to which the data is plausible, credible and trustworthy; and thus can be defended when challenged. Reliability and validity remain appropriate concepts for attaining rigor in qualitative research. Qualitative researchers have to salvage responsibility for reliability and validity by implementing verification strategies integral and self-correcting during the conduct of inquiry itself. This ensures the attainment of rigor using strategies inherent within each qualitative design, and moves the responsibility for incorporating and maintaining reliability and validity from external reviewers’ judgments to the investigators themselves. There have different opinions on validity with some suggesting that the concepts of validity is incompatible with qualitative research and should be abandoned while others argue efforts should be made to ensure validity so as to lend credibility to the results. This paper is an attempt to clarify the meaning and use of reliability and validity in the qualitative research paradigm.

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Print ISSN: 1816-2711

Electronic ISSN: 2220-5810