Sunday, September 6, 2015

Psychology 706 (Masters Degree program) - Riordan Manufacturing: Fifth Discipline’s System Thinking Model

Riordan Manufacturing: Fifth Discipline’s System Thinking Model
Sean Delevan
4 September 2015

            “Riordan Manufacturing is a global plastics manufacturer with projected annual earnings of $46 million” (Riordan Manufacturing, 2005). The organization is currently seeking to exceed its previous year’s sales by $4 million dollars that will allow for the overall sales goal of $50 million to be obtained. To achieve this particular sales goal, the organization will need to improve upon a few operational and training components. Riordan Manufacturing has been presented with a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) recently which is a commonly utilized “process of identifying training needs in an organization for the purpose of improving employee job performance” (HR Guide, 2015). In the absence of improved job performance and overall job satisfaction, achieving financial goals such as this would arguably be unobtainable.
            The purpose of the information to follow is to describe how the Fifth Discipline’s System Thinking Model can be applied to Riordan Manufacturing. In this assessment will be the consideration of action learning and appreciative inquiries as alternate approaches to achieving the aforementioned organizational training and financial goals. Once applicability of these components are explained and understood, there will be a presentation of the most advantageous ways in which to implement such approaches and their projected outcomes.
            When it comes to organizational success and performance improvement within an organization, there are five learning disciplines that should be considered for application. In accordance with information presented by Senge (1990), the five learning disciplines consist of “Shared Vision, Mental Models, Personal Mastery, Team Learning, and Systems Thinking; all of which are made up of a set of tools and practices for building and sustaining learning leadership capability in organizations” (pg.1). While each of these learning disciplines are effective in their own ways, it is suggested that Riordan Manufacturing will see the greatest deal of success through increased focus on Systems Thinking approaches to training.
            Systems thinking approaches to training is annotated to be a viable framework in which managers and employees alike, can see how inter-relationships succeed or fail in the midst of complex organizational situations. One of the most sustainable ways in which to ensure organizational success in the realm of training is through experimentation. “Experimentation lends itself to objective systems thinking, proactive planning, and organizational learning, leading to an organization’s honest self-assessment” (Waclawski & Church, 2002, pg.10/14).
            The need for organizational and employee training is imperative as customers are beginning to annotate the transparency of inexperience within the organization. With this transparency present, this will dramatically hinder the ability of Riordan Manufacturing as they attempt to reach new sales and profit goals. Furthermore, if the Systems Thinking Model is applied to organizational training operations, this will ultimately result in employees feeling more valued and efficient in their duties. When this occurs, the second organizational goal presented by Riordan Manufacturing, improving employee satisfaction by %15 will be achieved.
            “From a systems thinking point of view, it is helpful to identify which facilitating factors serve as leverage points for change in particular groups and then to consider the team’s relative strength or capability in the area” (DiBella, 2001, pg.4/12). One of the best ways in which facilitating factors and their effect on organizational learning can be achieved through the implementation of Systems Thinking Models would be to create a simplistic cause and effect chain. When cause and effect are learned, the consequences of the effects resulting from the newly pinpointed causes can be determined so that management can develop practical options and solutions. Further research supports that implementing this type of model during training “enables teams to unravel the often hidden subtleties, influences, leverage points, and intended/unintended consequences of change plans and programs and leads to deeper, more complete awareness of the interconnections behind changing any system” (Senge, 1990, pg.2).
            There is a chance that Riordan Manufacturing will need to hire new employees in order to achieve the profit and market share goals listed in the Training Needs Assessment. If this is the case, a Systems Thinking Model can also be applied to ensure sufficient staffing is achieved. So long as it is implemented correctly, this particular model will aid in the organization’s ability to see and understand how different organizational segments are interconnected which will then lead to a bigger picture rather than individual goals. “Systems thinking attempts to integrate the various parts of a system in a way that optimizes, rather than maximizes, the performance of each of its parts in order to achieve organizational effectiveness” (Douglas & Kerfoot, 2008, pg.53).
            There are a number of different ways that Riordan Manufacturing can implement the Systems Thinking Model that will undoubtedly warrant success. First and foremost, Riordan Manufacturing needs to invest in systems thinking education approaches that have proven to be viable for other organizations in the past. In order to ensure that the appropriate methods are being utilized, management and all pertinent personnel need to ensure that the problem(s) that the organization is faced with is understood. Once this is achieved, management should “draw upon resources in the organization that can contribute to problem resolution; form interdisciplinary work groups; ensure that plans include achieving measurable business goals; and, put in place and use monitoring approaches that support analysis” (Douglas & Kerfoot, 2008, pg.53).
            In conjunction with implementing the Systems Thinking Model, management at Riordan Manufacturing should also consider alternatives to learning and teaching such as action learning and appreciative inquiry. Explained by DiBella (2001), “a key process in promoting learning across different teams is communication and the development and accessibility of communications technology will simplify the dissemination of knowledge” (pg.1/8). When action learning is applied, and communication is at an acceptable standard, management at Riordan Manufacturing will begin to see success in the transformation and development of people working within the organization.
Action learning approaches to training are most effective when individual employees work in small groups on projects that are actually needing to be done by the organization. Busy work, that is not applicable to organizational operations will not furnish the same level of learning results as those that work on projects that are necessary for organizational success. Some of the notably more effective ways in which Riordan Manufacturing can implement action learning would be through task-oriented strategies where people learn from the work they do, and development initiative. So long as action learning approaches are presented and carried out as they are designed to be, implementation outcomes will result in enhanced learning and learning becoming the main focus of organizational operations.
Finally, appreciative inquiry can be used as an alternative to the Systems Thinking Model as this is annotated to be an “OD technique that encourages reflection from the position that a glass can be half full but never half empty, that there are as many if not more positive aspects of any situation as there are negative ones” (DiBella, 2001, pg.2/17). When learning occurs, and success is presented, as a result, many may feel that appreciative inquiry is boastful. This is an inaccurate assessment, and if not encouraged, it could result in lessened employee performance and a change in organizational culture. Therefore, as managers, it is important to encourage learning and positive attitudes when a job is done well.

DiBella, A. J. (2001). Learning practices: Assessment and Action for organizational improvement. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Douglas, K. & Kerfoot, K. (2008). Applying systems thinking model for effective staffing. Retrieved from
Human Resource Guide (HR Guide) (2015). Needs analysis: How to determine training needs. Retrieved from
Riordan Manufacturing (2005). Economic forecast for Riordan Manufacturing. Retrieved from
Senge, Peter M. (1990, revised 2006) The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization New York: Doubleday

Waclawski, J., & Church, A. H. (Eds.). (2002). Organization development: A data-driven approach to organizational change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Monday, August 17, 2015

I/O Psychology - RES 731 - Research Proposal - (Masters Degree Program) - by Sean Delevan (Edited by writing expert)

Iwamoto, Crews, Coe (IC2) Research Proposal
 Sean Delevan
13 August 2015

Iwamoto, Crews, Coe (IC2) Research Proposal
     “A business’ efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability depends on how well its employees function in the organizational structure” (Apollo Group, 2009, pg.2). Iwamoto, Crews, Coe (IC2) is an Industrial Organizational consulting firm that specializes in the improvement of organizational development, professional growth, marketing, and public relations. The purpose of this paper is to review an organization that specializes in the design, development, and distribution of surgical equipment used for minimally invasive endoscopic surgical procedures: Benedek Medical Technologies, Inc.
     In this review will be the identification of a problem that the organization is currently facing, applicable research that will aid IC2 with the correction of such problems, and the most appropriate research method and design to use in an effort to rectify the situation. In this evaluation will be the inclusion of potential threats to internal and external validity in the research to follow, in conjunction with the best ways in which to circumvent them.

Background of the Problem and the Purpose

     Benedek Medical Technologies, Inc. is currently facing some challenges within the organization. Challenges that have surfaced are not related to product value or distribution capabilities as the organization has been rapidly expanding over the course of the past five years. The problem lays with the organizations ability to hire enough people that meet the qualifications put forth by the organization to ensure that there will be continued success. The number of salespeople must be exponentially increased to appease the rapid growth that the organization is currently experiencing, and projected to continue experiencing.
     Currently, “the organization’s goal is to employ 90 sales professionals, and hire and train them, using a phased approach based on production schedules and product availability” (Apollo Group, 2009). Due to the organizational growth this company is experiencing, there needs to be a more effective measurement of sales people soon to be recruited. The organization has to hire people that will be effective during the organization’s continuous growth. The research proposal to follow will serve the purpose of developing effective tools and reporting methodologies to determine if employees will be operative while they are still in training.
     This particular challenge is of concern to Benedek Medical Technologies, Inc. because the lack of qualified recruits, new hires, and sales personnel within the organization can substantially hamper the organization’s ability to be successful. The organization is growing rapidly and therefore, new sales personnel must be able to adequately adapt to the growing needs of the organization without hindering the organization’s ability to be successful. The primary goal is to reduce the overall risk of high turnover rates amongst new employees.

Research Method and Design Appropriateness

     “Because the future success of new hires is determined on their mastery of training material, Benedek has contracted with IC2 to design the multiple choice tests, and administer and report test results at the conclusion of the initial and subsequent training sessions” (Apollo Group, 2009). To truly understand which research method and design is most appropriate in this case, the question that must be posed is whether or not the implementation of a sales aptitude test will aid in determining the current and projected effectiveness of sales personnel within the company? With this question posed, it is hypothesized that the utilization of a sales aptitude test will, in fact, help to enhance the performance and overall effectiveness of newly hired sales personnel.
     This particular type of research is collectively recognized as quantitative in nature as it incorporates the use of questionnaires to determine individual adaptability and aptitudes. The implementation of a quantitative type of research method will help IC2, as well as Benedek Medical Technologies, Inc. to identify the cause and effect of issues that might arise, and are already prevalent within the organization as they relate to comprehensive selection processes. The use of multiple choice tests in the quantitative research approach will be advantageous because it is described to be a “realist approach, sometimes positivist, while the world view underlying qualitative research, the opposite of quantitative research, is viewed as being subjective” (Creswell, 2012).

The Scientific Method

     The scientific method, as it pertains to Industrial Organizational research, is explained to be “a way to ask and answer questions by making observations and doing experiments” (Anderson, 1983). Following the steps of the scientific method, the first responsibility is to ask a question. The question as it pertains to the aforementioned issue Benedek Medical Technologies, Inc. is facing is whether or not the implementation of multiple choice tests at the conclusion of new employee initial training and subsequent training sessions will increase retention rates. Thereby, solidifying the organizations workforce in such a way that continued, and rapid growth can remain plausible.
     Having appeased the first step of the scientific method, asking a question, the second step entails the conduction of background research regarding the potential effectiveness of implementing aptitude tests. Initial research, presented by a Human Resource Management Professional, Georgina Clatworthy (2015) submits that the implementation of employee aptitude tests, in conjunction with interviewing techniques, can greatly aid Human Resource Managers in making informed decisions when it comes to hiring new employees.
     To ensure that this step is followed and remains applicable to the research at hand, there would need to be different types of aptitude tests utilized to ensure that the goal of employee retention is achieved. Due to the nature of the business and niche that the Benedek Medical Technologies organization operates in, the first type of aptitude test would need to be a knowledge test. Knowledge tests are “designed to measure how much a candidate knows about a particular aspect of the job and should be based on a particular topic that is relevant to the job to ensure the candidate has the required level of knowledge” (Clatworthy, 2015).
     A second applicable type of aptitude test that should be utilized in the initial determination of candidates for this organization would be personality tests. The majority of the people that Benedek Medical Technologies, Inc. will be hiring will be sales associates which, by its very nature, means that they will be making, or not making sales, based on the candidates ability to appeal to the consumers and shareholders. Clatworthy (2015) explains that there are several types of personality tests available but employment screenings will commonly use one that is intrinsically designed to measure five basic factors of personality: “(1) openness to experience, (2) extroversion, (3) agreeableness, (4) conscientiousness, and (5) emotional stability” (Clatworthy, 2015).
     The most applicable type of personality test that should be used by this organization was developed by Briggs Myers. It is composed of 44 questions and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. An example of some of the questions that will be in this particular survey include a scale of 1-4 wherein candidates are to determine which closely represents their personality. Calm/energetic, traditional/innovative, supportive/logical, organized/spontaneous, shy/outgoing, factual/imaginative, and many more (Truity, n.d.). 

     The third step in the scientific method is to develop a hypothesis which was done in the earlier portion of this proposal. To recap, it is hypothesized that the utilization of a sales aptitude test will, in fact, help to enhance the performance and overall effectiveness of newly hired sales personnel. In these testing procedures will be the inclusion of personality testing and knowledge testing which will both viably determine each candidate’s adaptability capabilities.
     To most meritoriously test this hypothesis, it is recommended that Benedek Medical Technologies, Inc. generate a pool of potential candidates wherein half of the group of candidates will remain as the control group. This control group will go through the hiring process that the organization has used in the past and will not undergo any of the proposed changes that have been presented by IC2 consultants. The second half of the group will undergo the hiring process in the newly proposed manner and after a period of six months, all employees will be reevaluated and turnover rates will be measured for each group.
     To validate the aforementioned hypothesis, there will need to be substantially lower turnover rates in the experimental group compared to those in the control group. If this is not the case, IC2 and Benedek Medical Technologies, Inc. will need to reevaluate the proposed methods in which to achieve this goal as this will emulate the fact that aptitude tests are not the key to ensuring retention rates and continued organizational success.

Data Analysis

     “Data analysis is the process of finding the right data to answer your question, understanding the processes underlying the data, discovering the important patterns in the data, and then communicating your results to have the biggest possible impact” (Mosteller & Turkey, 1977). Data obtained throughout this research will be analyzed using what is referred to as Constant Comparative Analysis. This particular approach was initially intended to be used in the Grounded Theory Methodology of research but has since become applicable to other forms of research as well. It is in this method that symbolic interactionism and strategy is identified. This is achieved by taking one piece of data and comparing it to others that may be similar or different in an effort to efficaciously develop conceptualizations of possible relationships between pieces of data.
     For example, people that have a Master’s degree and more work experience may be more introverted than those that have an Associates and have less work experience. This is something that would need to be realized when Benedek Medical Technologies, Inc. is recruiting potential sales personnel. “Naturalistic inquiry, thematic analysis, and interpretive description are methods that depend on constant comparative analysis processes to develop ways of understanding human phenomena within the context in which they are experienced” (Thorne, 2000).
     For data analysis to continue to be accurate and reliable throughout the course of this research, researchers should also make it a point to compare and contrast the different types of personalities that have surfaced as a result of the aptitude tests. This will help to determine what personalities are naturally more likely to succeed in a rapidly growing, and demanding sales environment compared to others. This information is then compared to those in the control group to determine not only if the new testing procedures have been effective, but how members of the control group differ from those in the experimental group on a personal and professional level.

Reliability and Validity

     To improve testing results for the sole purpose of ensuring research reliability and validity, it is important to establish the questionnaires in an easy to read and understand format.  Furthermore, qualitative analysis and the review of the data will not be considered reliable or valid if certain components are, or were not present in the initial study. For example, those that are involved in the study must be able to comprehend the phenomenon that is being studied, understand what their role is in the study, and compare other similar studies to the findings that result.
     Other ways that the reliability and validity of the study can be achieved, or improved upon is through consistency. If one group of candidates has a different experience than a secondary group, this will ultimately eliminate the reliability of the study and create and ethical issue in regard to the truthfulness and completeness of the findings overall. Accuracy can be achieved through the assurance that the most up-to-date testing equipment and questionnaires are used and reliability can be achieved when results are the same every time across a series of experimental groups.

Internal and External Validity

     When using questionnaires, sometimes the layout can be poorly organized and respondents might repeat a pattern when answering rather than providing accurate information. “If given a choice of response on a scale 1-5, they will usually opt for the middle point, and often tend to miss out subsections to questions” (Brace, 2008). This can be perceived as a threat to both internal and external validity because the researchers are going to annotate inaccurate information that will later then be communicated to interested parties inaccurately.
     Threats to internal validity can be seen in history; meaning an event that was anticipated occurred during the process of the research which would not likely occur in another experimental group. This would change the data markers and create more room for invalid information. External validity can be improved upon be ensuring that population and ecological representations are similar and accurate throughout the experiment. While this is important to ensuring that validity is achieved, it can also lead to ethical issues relating to discrimination.

Ethical Issues

     “Human subject issues are most salient in survey research, experiments, and field research and least salient in existing documents, secondary data analysis, content analysis, or historical-comparative research” (Neuman, 2011).    The ethical component of research is paramount when determinations of validity and applicability are being conducted.  While some experiments may present ethical issues by their very nature, there are five steps that researchers can intentionally make to ensure that the most common ethical issues are avoided.
     First, researchers must discuss intellectual property frankly which means that researchers are to be frank with research participants regarding the purpose of the research, their role, and how the information will be used. All participants in this particular research are to be made aware that their involvement in the study will not have any extra bearing on their ability to work with the organization. Also, researchers are to be conscious of their roles during the research process. This means that they are not to guide participants in any way  and all information that is obtained is to remain unchanged and in its original state for the purpose of comparison and data analysis. Finally, all candidates must sign an informed-consent document stating that they are aware of their involvement in the study and that they understand it has no outside bearing on their ability to achieve gainful employment.
Anderson, P. F. (1983). Marketing, scientific progress, and scientific method. The Journal of Marketing, 18-31.
Apollo Group (2009). Iwamoto, Crews, Coe (IC2) organizational development. Retrieved from virtual organizations portal.
Brace, I. (2008). Questionnaire design: How to plan, structure and write survey material for effective market research. Kogan Page Publishers.
Clatworthy, G. (2015). Can aptitude tests really predict employee success? Retrieved from
Creswell, J. W. (2012). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage.
Mosteller, F., & Tukey, J. W. (1977). Data analysis and regression: a second course in statistics. Addison-Wesley Series in Behavioral Science: Quantitative Methods.
Neuman, L. (2011). Social research methods. Qualitative and Quantitative approaches (7th ed.). Pearson Education.
Thorne, S. (2000). Data analysis in qualitative research. Evidence based nursing3(3), 68-70

Truity Research (No Date). The TypeFinder research addition. Retrieved from

Monday, August 10, 2015

Experimental & Survey Research Methods in I/O Psychology by Sean Delevan

Experimental & Survey Research Methods in I/O Psychology

Sean D.
17 July 2015

Different research aspirations will require the implementation of various research methods and designs to ensure that the results are both genuine and accurate. There are different approaches to be taken when conducting research, which is determined by the question that is posed to be answered. The resolve of this paper is to demonstrate both experimental and survey research designs and how they can be applied to problems associated with employee motivation and rewards systems in I/O psychology. Finally, the inclusion of three scholarly sources will be submitted along with an explanation of their applicability to the research questions under investigation.  
“Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology is mutually the learning of performance in organizational and work settings and the solicitation of the procedures, facts, and doctrines of psychology to individuals and groups in organizational and work settings” (SIOP, 2015). Some of the more communal problems that are found in I/O psychology typically deal with enlistment, collection and assignment, training and progress, performance measurement, workplace inspiration and reward systems, quality of work life, structure of work and human factors, organizational improvement and consumer performance (APA, 2012).
           Experimental research builds on the principles of a positivist approach and allows for the modification of one thing in a situation in an effort to compare an outcome to what existed in the absence of the modification. Applying experimental research approaches to some of the aforementioned problems commonly associated with I/O, the ability to influence one or more of the hypothesized issues such as poor recruiting and/or selection processes, will help I/O psychologists and management personnel to make the necessary adjustments. With the manipulation of certain components, I/O psychologists are able to make the necessary modifications in training and development needs as well as new formulations for implementing training programs designed for evaluating the effectiveness of newly implemented programs.
Disputably one of the most operative ways in which to explain the ways something can be effective is through the provision of a clearly depicted example. Research supports that one of the primary issues faced by I/O psychologists is workplace motivation and rewards systems. When work becomes monotonous, employee motivation begins to taper and/or become obsolete, therefore, it is the duty of an I/O psychologist to find ways to rectify the situation so organizational success can continue to be achieved. This particular issue is interpreted to be a causal relationship, one where the cause precedes the effect.
Applying the experimental research method to this problem can be noted in management making adjustments to employee base pay or incorporating frequent reward and compensation programs for certain jobs where organizations are seeing lesser motivated employees in. If the employees, after the implementation of increased pay and/or rewards systems are showing more motivation in their efforts, this supports that the manipulation was efficient and the consequence is now being altered by a different cause. Recognized as a ‘true experiment’, this approach “has a control group and subjects are assigned groups so researchers can test one effect at a time” (Campbell, Stanley, & Gage, 1963). In this case, the group includes those in a single department whom are showing signs of lowered motivation and job satisfaction.
Survey research, also a very useful tool that I/O psychologists are able to utilize in the workplace, serves the purpose of describing the innate characteristics of a particular population.Most surveys hold three rudimentary features: (1) the collection of data (2) samples (3) and a description of the participating population” (Stopher, 2012).  There are two principal styles of survey research that can be used for different reasons: cross-sectional studies and longitudinal surveys. Using the same central issue annotated in the preceding information (employee motivation and rewards), the implementation of a survey research method would prove to be highly advantageous so long as the correct type of survey approach is chosen.
The most applicable type of survey to present in this particular instance would be a longitudinal survey. It is explained that “a longitudinal methodology performs most appropriately when the sequential nature of the phenomena is evident, when it is improbable that overriding events could misperceive a follow-up study, and when alternate elucidations are likely and cannot be measured through a cross-sectional approach” (Rindfleisch, Malter, Ganesan, and Moorman, 2008). This is arguably the most applicable survey method to implement because the cause and effect relationship will most likely be very clear once the information has been achieved, and manipulations have been made which negates the purpose of conducting a secondary survey.
The use of experimental research and survey research is very common when it comes to answering questions and finding ways in which to alter cause and effect relationships. I-O psychologists give to an organization's success by cultivating performance, fulfillment, security, health and the overall well-being employees. It is the duty of I/O psychologists to research worker conducts and attitudes, and how these can be enhanced through hiring practices, training programs, feedback, and management systems. This can only be achieved when appropriate research methods and designs are implemented. Thereby increasing the necessity of understanding the differences and applicability of such approaches.

American Psychological Association (APA) (2012). Industrial and organizational psychology. Retrieved from
Aric Rindfleisch, Alan J. Malter, Shankar Ganesan, and Christine Moorman (2008). Cross-sectional vs. Longitudinal survey research. Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. XLV, No. 3. Retrieved from
Campbell, D. T., Stanley, J. C., & Gage, N. L. (1963). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research (No. 04; Q175, C3.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved from

Stopher, P. (2012). Collecting, managing, and assessing data using sample surveys. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from

Threats to Internal and External Validity....Industrial Organizational Psychology College Submission by Sean Delevan

Threats to Internal and External Validity
Sean Delevan
31 July 2015

            Validity refers to the degree in which accurate assumptions can be made merely by the results of a research study. Internal validity is described as “validity of the inference that the independent and dependent variables are causally related” (Christensen et al, 2011, pg.2/25). Comparatively, external validity is explained to be the determination regarding whether the “causal relationship holds over people, settings, treatment variable, measurement variables, and time” (Christensen et al, 2011, pg.3/25). Although each are present in research and are necessary to ensure reliability and validity are achieved, there are annotatable threats associated with both internal and external validity that have to be considered during the research process. The purpose of this assignment is to present, in the information to follow, a chart that serves as a master list of threats associated with both internal and external validity in research.
Internal Validity- “How well and experiment is done and if it avoids confounding variables” (Campbell, 1986).
External Validity- “validity of generalized inferences in research based on experiments” (Calder, Phillips, & Tybout, 1982). The extent to which results can be generalized to apply to others.
Threat 1: History – Any past event that can produce the outcome during a study prior to post testing of the dependent variable. “history threat exists in this one-group design if an event occurs (other than the treatment) that can affect the dependent variable” (Christensen et al. 2011). This includes differential history which occurs when one group experiences the changes of the history event but the other group in the study does not.
Threat 1: Population Validity- A testing sample may not actually represent that larger population similar to research participants. The accessible population may be substantially lower than the target population which will skew testing results.
Threat 2: Maturation- Changes in internal conditions such as “age, learning, hunger, boredom, and hunger that are not related to specific external events” (Christensen et al. 2011). Maturation changes are associated with the individual and are realized as biological and/or psychological processes that unwittingly change the outcome of the research.
Threat 2: Ecological Validity- “The generalizability of results of a study across different settings or from one set of environmental conditions to another” (Christensen et al., 2011, pg18/25). Lab experiments don’t generally produce a generalized assumptions for non-lab settings.
Threat 3: Instrumentation- “Changes that occur over time, during the course of the study, in the measurement of the dependent variable” (Christensen et al., 2011, pg.12/25). Research that requires human observance is most likely to suffer from this type of threat.
Threat 3: Temporal Validity- Testing results’ ability to be generalized across an extended period of time. Simply stated, this is a threat if the findings of the study are not held as true over an extended period of time.
Threat 4: Testing- Taking similar tests more than once can change the overall outcome as participants become more familiar with the process. Repetitive tests can desensitize participants and alter the genuine outcome, thus resulting in unreliable results.
Threat 4: Treatment Variation Validity- When the generalizability of study results vary due to different testing administrators. One administrator might be more apt to help participants than another which then changes the reliability and validity of the study altogether.
Threat 5: Regression- Tendency of extreme scores to regress toward a more average score during retesting. When initial tests generate poor results, retaking the same test would expect participants to score higher.
Threat 5: Outcome Validity- “Refers to the generalizability of results across different but related dependent variables” (Christensen et al., 2011, pg.19/25). This measures the same effect that an independent variable has on various dependent variables.
Threat 6: Attrition- This occurs when participants drop out of a study. “Some individuals do not complete a research study for a variety of reasons, such as failure to show up at the scheduled time and place or not participating in all phases of the study” (Christensen et al., 2011, pg.14/25). This is most common in psychological and behavioral studies.

Threat 7: Selection- This threat is present when a differential selection procedure is used for placing participants in certain study groups. Groups in a study might possess different characteristics such as age, ability, or gender, that might affect the results.

Campbell, D. T. (1986). Relabeling internal and external validity for applied social scientists. New Directions for Program Evaluation, 1986(31), 67-77.
Calder, B. J., Phillips, L. W., & Tybout, A. M. (1982). The concept of external validity. Journal of Consumer Research, 240-244.
Christensen, R., Burke, J., & Turner, L. (2011). Research methods, design, and analysis, Eleventh Edition. Pearson Education.