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Study of Validity in Religiosity Measurement Surveys in Iran

By Hossein Shojaeezand and Alireza Shojaeezand

Abstract

Introduction Validity is the most important feature of a measure and this feature is the only permission for using the result of study. When research is on topics such as religion, the validity will be even more important. Such concepts like religion are complex, invisible and very hard to know. In addition, measuring the religiosity has its own conceptual and methodological requirements that distinguish it from measuring simple and objective concepts. Due to this complexity and invisibility, these issues are more vulnerable to methodological hazards. Therefore should be increase carefully to decrease the probability of error in these studies. Despite this, it seems that most religiosity measurement studies in Iran do not pay enough attention about validity of their measures. This inattention has happened in two ways; first, not checking or completely checking the validity of measure; and two, not giving an accurate and appropriate report about it. While checking the validity is important for researcher to ensuring the result, the reporting of validity is important for audience for accepting the result. Evaluation and verification of this claim requires re-reviewing religiosity measurement surveys in Iran with this consideration.   Material and Methods In this research after describing features of triple kinds of validity, content validity, criterion validity and construct validity and insufficiencies and problems of each one, have been pointed to usage of them in religiosity measurement studies and essentials and defects of this usage. Theoretical and empirical evaluations showed that most appropriate type of validity for religiosity surveys is content validity. Based on these consideration and other considerations about survey, questionnaire, definition and model of religiosity, most important religiosity measurement surveys in Iran have been evaluated and criticized. First focused on definition and model of religiosity in these studies; then evaluated validities in each study evaluated and criticized and finally, content validity of measure of each study, that mainly has been questionnaire, completely evaluated. We do not have a special method for this research. Our way is review, criticize and compare. But we have some criterion to choose the most important surveys about religiosity measurement. First is amount of people were involving in the survey and second is the background of the person who conducts the survey.   Discussion of Results and Conclusions This research shows important defects in evaluating and reporting validity in most of these studies. Despite the claim of the researcher of evaluating the validity in their studies, most of them do not pay appropriate attention to this important feature. Our research shows that the criterion and construct validity are not enough for validity of that measure. For this reason the studies that just using these validity are not valid in this perspective. Some studies use and evaluate content validity but evaluating the content validity has some preparations and requirements that they do not provide and therefore their validity is not complete and sufficient. Inappropriate evaluating or not evaluating of content validity has a serious effect on the measure and especially on the items of the measure such as questionnaire that all of the reviewed surveys shows that effect. Most of these defects can be corrected if the researchers pay more attention to the validity and reporting it in their studies. Because these studies are the most important studies in field of religiosity measurement and because other works typically have been done with adoption and reference of them, one can guess that weakness of validity in religiosity measurement surveys in Iran is a general illness. Therefore, their results should be used with more caution

Topics: Construct validity. Content Validity, Criterion Validity, measure, Measurement, Questionnaire, Religiosity, Survey, validity, Social Sciences, H, Sociology (General), HM401-1281
Publisher: University of Isfahan
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:531af88f7b9645c887eddabe3382abff
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