Qualitative Research Validity Types

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  • The production of defensible research is important in all types of research, including qualitative research. A common label for “validity” in qualitative research is “trustworthiness.” Although there are many published sets of qualitative research validity types, I focus here on the one constructed by Joseph Maxwell, which includes five validity types. First, descriptive validity refers to the factual accuracy of the account that is reported by the researcher. It answers the question “Did the researcher get the “facts” right?” The idea is to describe accurately the events, objects, behaviors, people, settings, times, and places that come up during data collection. Second, interpretative validity refers to the degree to which the qualitative researcher accurately portrays the inner worlds or inner meanings given by the participants to ...

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