Basic statistical concepts like reliability and validity are paramount to forensic psychology research. You need to know how reliable and valid any particular research study may be. To do so, you need a good understanding of these concepts as well as others.
As you have learned this week, there are different forms of reliability and validity. Statistical reliability and validity are simply numerical descriptions of the basic concepts of each, which allows the researcher to determine if the instrument gives a consistent measurement (reliability) and if it measures what it claims to measure (validity). Even in the area of treatment, the field of psychology is moving toward “evidence-based therapies.” This means that the therapy used must show empirical evidence (reliability and validity) and be of help to those who are treated. Being able to show empirical support for what you do as a forensic psychology professional provides the public and legal system with a way to judge the value of your contribution as a forensic psychology professional.
To prepare for this assignment: Review Chapter 5 in your course text, Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences. Pay particular attention to the definitions of validity and reliability, the various types of validity and reliability, and how measures of each are reported. Choose an area of forensic psychology which you find interesting. Using the Walden Library, select and review a research study/article that relates to this area and that also addresses validity and reliability. Consider whether the validity and reliability, as reported in the research article you selected, are accurate or suspect and why.
The assignment (1–3 pages): Briefly describe the research study you selected. Explain the type(s) of validity and reliability relevant to this study. Explain whether you think the validity and reliability, as reported in the article, are accurate or suspect and why. Explain what difference validity and reliability make in the study you selected and why.