Reliability vs Validity in Research – 7 Untold Facts

The research study is not of any use if it is neither reliable nor valid. These are the most important criteria by which a researcher measures the quality of measurement collected using a specific method. So, reliability and validity in research are two important concepts used to check the quality of a research study. These two concepts indicate how well a research method, technique, or data collection tool measures something.

Reliability and validity in research are two important considerations when you are designing a research design for your research study. However, it has been seen that many students like you take both concepts as the same. They do not know the differences that exist between them. Considering this, today’s article is about validity vs reliability. Let’s start with the definition of both concepts.

What does it mean by validity in research?

In its simplest definition, validity in research is all about the accuracy of a measurement. It describes how accurate a research instrument measures the value expected from it. Checking validity involves the entire experimental design. After checking the validity, the research design is either passed or failed. It means the researcher concludes by checking whether the experimental design has obtained research results meeting all the requirements or not.

What is reliability in research?

Reliability in research is about the consistency of a research measure. It describes to which extent an experiment, test, or measurement procedure gives the same value upon repeating it again and again. In simple words, you can say reliability is the degree to which your research results are free from random errors. However, it is an established fact that you cannot achieve 100% error-free results as there is always a chance of error.

7 untold facts about reliability and validity in research

So, after reading the information above, you now have a good idea of the meaning of both concepts in a research study. You also know that they are different by definition. However, there are many other differences that exist between these two important concepts. The 7 most common facts about reliability and validity in research are as follows:

1. The difference in the meaning

Both terms and concepts are different in their meaning and explanations. The reliability tells about the extent to which the research results are reproducible. However, the validity is all about the extent to which the results really measure what they are supposed to measure. Hence, this fact is the number one fact about these two concepts.

2. The difference in relation

Although by name, it looks like both reliability and validity relate to each other very closely, in actuality, they are not. A reliable measurement is not always a valid research result. Reliability does not give guarantee that your research results are valid. However, a valid measurement is generally reliable.

3. The difference in the assessment

Both reliability and validity in research employ different methods for assessment. Reliability is mainly assessed by three methods: test-retest reliability, internal reliability, and inter-rater reliability. On the other hand, the validity utilises four methods: face validity, content validity, construct validity, and criterion validity. If you are unsure of how to use these methods and want to know more about them, you must contact with a reliable masters dissertation help online.

4. The difference is questions answered

The next untold fact about validity and reliability in research is about the questions both concepts answer. The validity answers, “is it the right instrument for what I need to measure?” On the other hand, reliability in research is all about answering the question, “Can the results be replicated upon repetition of the test under the same conditions.”

5. The difference in the outcome

Validity in research is always about the outcome. It either tells whether the outcome is valid or not. It does not give any information. In the meantime, reliability is all about maintaining consistency in the results or outcome of a research instrument.

6. The difference in influencing factors

Factors affecting the reliability and validity of research are also different. Influencing factors for validity are process, theory, logical implications etc. At the same time, the influencing factors for test length, test score variability etc.

7. The difference in the achievement

Lastly, there exists a difference in the achievement of both concepts. To check the validity of research, you have to go deep and perform a detailed investigation, which makes it harder. In contrast, measuring reliability is easier and yields faster results.


Reliability and validity in research are two different concepts. This is what I have concluded from the discussion above. Both have different methods of measurement and different factors that influence them. Hence, these are some of the main untold facts about reliability vs validity. Read them and check if your research is valid or not.

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