ERIC Number: ED218352
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Biases: Threats to Validity in Evaluation Models.
Innes, Allison H.
Potential sources of invalidity relevant to evaluation approaches are identified, described, and categorized. The evaluation focus covered is the determination of a program's worth, not the determination of the presence of cause-and-effect relationships. Concern has been expressed by evaluators about the presence and effect of biases and their possible threat to the validity of the conclusions. Validity threats that are discussed in articles in psychology, sociology, and related fields, and were also mentioned in evaluation literature are considered. A list of 15 potential validity threats was compiled. From their psychological and sociological nature, these biases are likely to occur to some degree when using most evaluation approaches. Decision-oriented, client-oriented, and connoisseur-based studies are susceptible to more of these biases than policy, accountability, or objectives-based studies. The author suggests that knowledge of these 15 sources of invalidity could facilitate less biased evaluative judgments. That is, if during a formative evaluation it is discovered that there is a bias present, such as relativity of data, then alternative ways of gathering data may be introduced, or program criteria may be reassessed. This checklist of biases could prove a useful tool in a meta-evaluation. (Author/PN)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reference Materials - Bibliographies; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Evaluation Problems
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (66th, New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).