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Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation, 4th Edition by Elizabeth J. Tisdell, Sharan B. Merriam

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Chapter NineDealing with Validity, Reliability, and Ethics

All research is concerned with producing valid and reliable knowledge in an ethical manner. Being able to trust research results is especially important to professionals in applied fields because practitioners intervene in people's lives. No classroom teacher, for example, will want to experiment with a new way of teaching reading, nor will a counselor want to implement a new technique to engage with a bereaved family without some confidence in its probable success. But how can you know when research results are trustworthy? They are trustworthy to the extent that there has been some rigor in carrying out the study. Because qualitative research is based on assumptions about reality different from those of quantitative research (see Chapter One), the standards for rigor in qualitative research necessarily differ from those of quantitative research. However, since both the criteria and the terminology for discussing and assessing rigor in qualitative research are in flux (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011; Lichtman, 2013), we have chosen to discuss trustworthiness and rigor in interpretive qualitative research with reference to the traditional terminology of validity and reliability, though we recognize these are contested terms.

Ensuring validity and reliability in qualitative research involves conducting the investigation in an ethical manner. Although well-established guidelines for the ethical conduct of research date back to ...

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