Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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LEARNING CURVE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 498-499

Internal, external, and ecological validity in research design, conduct, and evaluation


Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chittaranjan Andrade
Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_334_18

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Reliability and validity describe desirable psychometric characteristics of research instruments. The concept of validity is also applied to research studies and their findings. Internal validity examines whether the study design, conduct, and analysis answer the research questions without bias. External validity examines whether the study findings can be generalized to other contexts. Ecological validity examines, specifically, whether the study findings can be generalized to real-life settings; thus ecological validity is a subtype of external validity. These concepts are explained using examples so that readers may understand why the consideration of internal, external, and ecological validity is important for designing and conducting studies, and for understanding the merits of published research.


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