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21 JULY 2013

Validity Concepts in Research: an Integrative Approach

"Research involves drawing upon elements and relations from three basic domains: (a) a conceptual domain, which includes concepts and relations considered in abstract form, (b) a methodological domain, which includes instruments and techniques for obtaining observations and for relating sets of observations; and (c) a substantive domain, which includes events, processes, and phenomenon in the 'real' world.

Any research project must contain elements and relations from each of these domains. Thus, it is not possible to conduct research, without some method, some concept (or set of concepts), and some event or process. Elements and relations from each of these domains are not all combined simultaneously. Research generally proceeds by combining two of the domains, to form some structure, and subsequently incorporating (i.e., integrating) the third domain with the developed structure. With three domains, there are at least three patterns for combining the domains. Those three ways represent three distinct research paths; and they pose different advantages and limitations for the investigator."

(David Brinberg, 1982)

David Brinberg (1982) ,"Validity Concepts in Research: an Integrative Approach", in NA – Advances in Consumer Research Volume 09, eds. Andrew Mitchell, Ann Abor, MI : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 40–44.


1982 • abstract form • academic research • advantages and limitations • analytic technique • Association for Consumer Research • concepts and ideas • concepts and relations • conceptual domain • David Brinberg • events • forms of validity • instruments and techniques • integrative scholarshipintegrative techniqueinterrelationships • investigator • knowledge domain • measuring device • methodological domain • obtaining observations • phenomenon • processes • real world • relating observations • relationsresearch designresearch method • research paths • research processresearch projectresearch strategiesresearcher • substantive domain • theory buildingUniversity of Marylandvalid knowledgevalid scholarshipvalidity


Simon Perkins
23 MARCH 2013

Designerly Activity: art, design and technology as research

"A great deal of art or design or technology activity entails some research, or orthodox or unorthodox kinds, in support of the main activity. It is not quite so certain that the activity itself is the same as research activity per se. One has to ask, was the art or design or technological activity an enquiry whose goal was knowledge? Was it systematically conducted? Were the data explicit? Was the record of the conduct of the activity 'transparent', in the sense that a later investigator could uncover the same information, replicate the procedures adopted, rehearse the argument conducted, and produce the same result? Were the data employed, and the outcome arrived at, validated in appropriate ways? Most academic institutions with higher level art, design or technology departments can point to at least a few cases of practical activity where an effort has been made, successfully, to meet these criteria. So can a few research institutes and professional design offices. In these cases the activity can properly be equated with research, and should be recognised and rewarded accordingly. Where any activity, whether it claims to be 'research' or not, fails to meet the criteria which define research activity as 'a systematic enquiry whose goal is communicable knowledge', it cannot properly be classed as research or equivalent to research. Where an activity does meet the criteria, it can be classed as research."

(Bruce Archer, 2004, p.28, The Design and Technology Association)

Archer, B. (2004). "Designerly Activity and Higher Degrees", The Design and Technology Association.



2004art and design • art enquiry • Bruce Archer • communicable knowledge • design and technologyDesign and Technology Association • design enquir • designerly ways of knowingguidemarketization of education • orthodox research • rehearse the argument • replicate procedures • research activity • research equivalence • research institutes • research results • systematic approach • systematic enquiry • systematically conducted endeavour • technological enquiry • technology activity • unorthodox research • valid knowledgevalidity


Simon Perkins
16 MARCH 2013

Complex representations not simple quantified measurement

"Primarily because of its association with achievements in the physical sciences, quantified measurement seems a step toward enhanced precision. But, precision, as understood here, means more than reliability and validity; it also requires appropriately complex representation of the target construct. In phenomenological terms, precision refers to the distinctiveness that fosters reliability, the coherence that assures validity, and the richness that is appropriate to the targeted phenomenon. First, distinctiveness is the extent to which a phenomenon is discriminable from others. Judgments about distinctiveness require more than explicit (e.g., operational) definitions. They require the capacity to anticipate attributes that remain implicit in even the most explicitly conceived phenomenon and, on the basis of those implicit meanings, to consistently verify that phenomenon's presence or absence. Second, coherence is the extent to which judgments about the attribute structure of a particular phenomenon are congruent. Short of logical entailment but beyond associative contingency, judgments about coherence require consideration of both the explicit and implicit meanings of the attribute structure they describe. Third, richness is the extent to which judgments about a phenomenon capture its complexity and intricacy. Richness entails full differentiation of a phenomenon's attributes, identification of its attribute structure, and appreciation of its structural incongruities."

(Don Kuiken and David Miall, 2001)

[4] profiles and the ideal prototype. This numeric assessment of degree involves profiles of attributes rather than individual attributes. Although we appreciate the potential importance of the latter (see note 3), we have not attempted to address the analytic problems that arise from the combination of nominal and ordinal variables in estimates of profile similarity. It should be noted, however, that some available software facilitates the assessment of ordinal information during attribute identification (cf. KUCKARTZ 1995; WEITZMAN & MILES 1995). The possibility of coordinating ordinal and nominal attribute judgments deserves further consideration.

Kuiken, Don & Miall, David S. (2001). "Numerically Aided Phenomenology: Procedures for Investigating Categories of Experience." [68 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 2(1), Art. 15, http://nbn–– fqs0101153.


2001academic journalappropriately complex representation • associative contingency • coherencecomplexity • David Miall • differentiation • discriminable • distinctiveness • Don Kuiken • Eben Weitzman • explicit definitionsexplicit knowledgeexplicit meaningexplicit objectivesexplicitly definedForum Qualitative Social ResearchFQSimplicit informationimplicit meaning • implicitly • imprecision • intricacyinvestigative praxis • judgments • logical entailment • Matthew Miles • online journaloperational criteriaoperational definitionsphenomenologicalphenomenonphysical sciencesprecisionqualitative researchquantification of variablesquantified measurementreliabilityreliability and validityrich descriptions • richness • structural incongruities • target construct • targeted phenomenon • Udo Kuckartz • validity


Simon Perkins
05 JANUARY 2013

Epistemological Positions in Design Research

"The significance of acknowledging the differences between the aspects of these epistemologies is twofold; first it connects the theory of research to the practice of research and reveals the limits of truth claims in terms of objectivity, validity and generalisability. Second, Crotty's model emphasizes the necessity of remaining epistemologically consistent. Objectivist research must distinguish scientifically established objective facts from people's everyday subjective meanings. In turn, consistently constructionist research must place all meanings, scientific and non–scientific on an equal basis – they are all constructions, and none is truly objective or generalisable [sic]. The further one moves towards subjectivism, the greater the limits of the objectivity, validity and generalisablity of one's truth claims (Seale 1999). Being epistemologically aware requires that at each point in the research process we recognize that we make a variety of assumptions about human knowledge, the realities encountered in the human world and the interpretability of our findings."

(Luke Feast and Gavin Melles, 2010)

Feast, L. and G. Melles (2010). "Epistemological Positions in Design Research: A Brief Review of the Literature". Connected 2010 – 2nd International Conference on Design Education Sydney, Australia, University of New South Wales.

"Point of View" by Christopher Hassler []



2010academic communityassumptions • Charles Owen • Christopher Frayling • Clive Seale • constructionism • constructionist research • creative practice • Daniela Buchler • design educationdesign research • epistemological consistency • epistemological positions • epistemologies • epistemologyfindings • Fiona Candlin • Gavin Mellesgeneralisability • human knowledge • International Conference on Design Education • interpretability • Kees DorstKen Friedmanknowledge constructions • limits of objectivity • limits of truth claims • Luke Feast • Michael BiggsMichael CrottyNigel Cross • non-scientific meanings • objective • objectivist research • objectivity • practice of research • realitiesreview of literature • Roy Prentice • scholarly researchscientific methodscientifically established objective factssubjectivism • theory of research • truth claimsUniversity of New South Walesvalidity


Simon Perkins
27 JUNE 2012

Design + Culture: A Return to Fundamentalism?

"whilst the application of design is multiplying exponentially, it is also loosing its validity as an authentic cultural icon. It has become synonymous with cloning the face of global culture itself, more often representing the uniformity of mass globalisation, rather than reflecting the facets of cultural difference and diversity.

The cultural attributes of difference and diversity have been fundamentally weakened, and like face that has undergone cosmetic surgery, the result is a facsimile vaguely familiar but disturbingly without a true sense of identity. It is everyone's and no one's, and belongs in no single place more than another. ...

Design has become omnipresent within Culture, as it has been adopted as a convenient badge to add value and market commodity, and to signify identity. Following Designer era of 1980's, the added value of design was replaced by design as cultural value, embodied in leading Brands of the 1990's. ...

in the 21st Century the task of capturing Culture has become more and more difficult in terms of expressing culture through the medium of design. Design increasingly struggles for a clear sense of definition, and one is left asking, what can Culture really mean today, if it is no longer tied to consumer lifestyle? We remain in a post–contemporary state where we require a redefinition of meaning, value and identity. ...

The uncertainty of a designed fusion Culture has replaced the certainty of traditional cultural monoculture. Which in turn has been diluted by an obsession with 'cultural materialism'. What remains of the original cultural sources are being plundered in order to restock our lack of creative DNA. The net result is an erosion of the remaining authentic sources, but also the creation of a 'cultural time lag' which has been generated by a convergence of trans–cultural fusions, hybridisation, and of recurrent cultural cross referencing."

(David Carlson on 21 Mar 21 2011, David Report)

Fig.1 paper sculptures made by Jennifer Collier [].



1980199021st centuryadded valueadded value through designaestheticisationapplication of designart and design doctrinearts and craftsauthentic cultural iconauthentic materials • authentic sources • authenticityconsumer brandsconsumer lifestyles • cosmetic surgery • craftcraft nostalgiacreative fundamentalismcreativitycultural cross referencingcultural identitycultural materialismcultural monoculturedecorationderivativedesign • design as cultural value • design craftdesign essentialismdesign fundamentalismdesign innovationdesign revisionism • difference and diversity • expressing culture • global culture • globalisationhomogenizationhybridisationlegitimacymarket commodity • mass globalisation • monoculturenostalgia • original cultural sources • post-contemporary • post-traditional • redefinition of meaning • sewn typography • traditional cultural monoculture • trans-cultural fusions • trendsuniformityvalidityvisual design


Simon Perkins

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