ERIC Number: ED448205
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-21
Expanding the Framework of Internal and External Validity in Quantitative Research.
Onwuegbuzie, Anthony J.
An experiment is deemed to be valid, inasmuch as valid cause-effect relationships are established, if the results are due only to the manipulated independent variable (possess internal validity) and are generalizable to groups, environments, and contexts outside of the experimental settings (possess external validity). Consequently, all experimental studies should be assessed for internal and external validity. Undoubtedly, the seminal work of Donald Campbell and Julian Stanley provides the most authoritative source regarding threats to internal and external validity. Since their conceptualization, many researchers have argued that these threats to internal and external validity not only should be examined for experimental designs but are also pertinent for other quantitative research designs. Unfortunately, with respect to nonexperimental quantitative research designs, it appears that Campbell and Stanley's sources of internal and external validity do not represent the realm of pertinent threats to the validity of studies. The purpose of this paper is to provide a rationale for assessing threats to internal validity and external validity in all quantitative research studies, regardless of the research design. In addition, a more comprehensive framework of dimensions and subdimensions of internal and external validity is presented than has been undertaken previously. Different ways of expanding the discussion about threats to internal and external validity are presented. (Contains 1 figure and 58 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Educational Research (AAER) (Ponte Vedra, FL, November 2000).