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What is the difference between internal and external validity?

SW Research 

Discussion 7 -Validity and Research Design

Within the quantitative methodological approach are several research designs. A research design simply provides more information on how and at what points data will be collected. The decision of design is driven by the research question and purpose of the study. For example, if your aim is to measure the effects of psychoeducation on social work clients, you might take measurements before and after the intervention (pretest-posttest).


Some designs are better than others in terms of validity—the accuracy of the measurement. For this Discussion, you explore threats to internal validity and determine which research design is the best at controlling for these threats.

To Prepare:

Review the Learning Resources on quantitative research.

Consider internal and external validity, the differences between them, and threats to validity when conducting research.

Reflect on which quantitative research design controls for all threats to internal validity.

What is the difference between internal and external validity?

Select two internal validity threats and describe each.

After examining each category and list of designs, determine which design controls for all threats to internal validity. Explain how this design controls for all threats.

Please use the Learning Resources to support your post (i.e., cite and reference).



Yegidis, B. L., Weinbach, R. W., & Myers, L. L. (2018). Research methods for social workers (8th ed.). Pearson.


Chapter 5: Quantitative Research (pp. 100–125)

Wentworth, H. (2020, February 24). Critical reading for evaluation. The Savvy Student.


Document: Critique Template


Required Media

Walden University Library. (n.d.). Determining reliability and credibility: Evaluate the contents of a journal article [Interactive tutorial].


Walden University Office of Research and Doctoral Services. (n.d.). Quantitative research methods: An example [Video].


Note: On this webpage, scroll down to the “Explore Quantitative Methodology” heading and view the “Quantitative Methods: An Example” video. The approximate length of this media piece is 13 minutes.


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