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A standard or criteria against which research results are judged. To be internally valid the results of an experiment or of a survey are considered to be accurate indications of the manipulation of an independent variable in the case of an experiment, or of the attitudes or knowledge of respondents in the case of a survey. If the results, however, can be seen as produced by the way the experiment or survey was conducted then the results are internally invalid. Something internal to the research process produced the results, so researchers are no longer measuring what they claim to be measuring. Selection bias in the allocation of subjects to the experimental and control groups may contaminate the results as can questions in a survey which elicit socially desirable answers. Placebos and double blind procedures in experiments are used to enhance internal validity. See double blind procedure; external validity; validity.

Last updated 2002--0-9-

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Athabaca University ICAAP

© Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D.
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