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There are several factors that a researcher must take into account in selecting an existing instrument for use in a research study, key among them validity and reliability. Validity denotes the degree to which the research findings match or conform to the initial expected findings (Yilmaz, 2013). In selecting research instruments, researchers consider three forms of validity, namely, dimensional and construct validity. Dimensional validity denotes the extant conformity between the internal structure of the instrument and the theorized internal structure concerning the phenomenon that is subject to evaluation (Bastos, Duquia, González-Chica, Mesa, & Bonamigo, 2014). Construct validity refers to an instrument’s capacity to measure a specific item it aims to evaluate in the absence of a better instrument (Bastos et al., 2014). Reliability, on the other hand, refers to the consistency an existing instrument demonstrates in each instance it is utilized under similar conditions and with unchanged subjects (Yilmaz, 2013). Bastos et al. (2014), assert that there are two categories of reliability which include internal consistency, as well as temporal stability.
The researcher can locate existing instruments by delving into existing literature and examining previous research studies that relate to their research study. This may entail accessing databases that contain relevant literature.
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The existing instrument that will be employed in addressing the research question in the proposed study will include interviews. Prinsen et al. (2016) assert that in selecting the research instrument, the researcher must take into account the construct to be evaluated, as well as the attributes of the target populace. The data collection procedure will entail interviewing selected participants using structured interviews. This will allow for easy codification during the data analysis phase.
- Bastos, J. L., Duquia, R. P., González-Chica, D. A., Mesa, J. M., & Bonamigo, R. R. (2014). Field work I: selecting the instrument for data collection. Anais brasileiros de dermatologia, 89(6), 918-923.
- Prinsen, C. A., Vohra, S., Rose, M. R., Boers, M., Tugwell, P., Clarke, M., … & Terwee, C. B. (2016). How to select outcome measurement instruments for outcomes included in a “Core Outcome Set”–a practical guideline. Trials, 17(1), 449.
- Yilmaz, K. (2013). Comparison of quantitative and qualitative research traditions: Epistemological, theoretical, and methodological differences. European Journal of Education, 48(2), 311-325.