Teori Penelitian Kualitatif: Reliabilitas, Validitas, dan Generalisasi

Teori Penelitian Kualitatif: Reliabilitas, Validitas, dan Generalisasi - Dalam artikel ini akan dibahas hal yang berhubungan dengan validitas dan reliabilitas termasuk juga generalisasi dalam penelitian kualitatif. Melalui artikel ini diharapkan anda mampu memahami validitas dan reliabilitas dalam penelitian kualitatif dengan sederhana.


Realibilitas adalah kekonsitenan, keajegan atau ketetapan. Mengukur sesuatu secara berulang-ulang dengan kondisi yang sama atau relatif sama, maka kita akan mendapatkan hasil yang sama atau relatif sama (konteks kuantitatif).

Permasalahan Penelitian Kualitatif 

Sifatnya yang subjektif (hal yang diteliti adalah kepribadian manusia sebanyak manusia), situasi lapangan yang dinamis (ibarat pohon yang terus berkembang), hubungan dan interaksi antara peneliti dengan subjek yang diteliti.

Realibilitas dalam penelitian kualitatif diartikan pada tingkat kesesuaian antara data yang dikemukakan oleh subjek dengna kondisi yang sebenarnya. Untuk melihat tingkat kesesuaian tersebut diperlukan keandalan, ketelitian, dan kreativitas penelitian dalam mengungkapkannya.

Teknik yang Biasa Digunakan dalam Penelitian Kualitatif Untuk Melakukan Reliabilitas

  • Prosedur cek ulang: verifikasi (sejauh mana data sesuai dengan situasi konkrit) dan falsifikasi (mengecek seberapa jauh data yang ditemukan dapat diuji kebenarannya).
  • Melakukan teknik penggalian data yang bervariasi dan komprehensif: jangan mudah puas dengan data yang hanya dikumpulkan melalui satu metode 
  • Menambah jumlah subjek dan informan penelitian: sampai titik jenuh plus data dari informan sebagai data pendukung untuk meningkatkan reliabilitas data.

Langkah-langkah dalam Meningkatkan Reliabilitas

  • Mencatat bebas hal-hal penting serinci mungkin 
  • Mendokumentasikan secara lengkap dan rapi data yang terkumpul 
  • Memanfaatkan langkah-langkah dan proses yang diambil peneliti sebelumnya sebagai masukan bagi peneliti 
  • Menyertakan patner yang akan memberikan pertanyaan-pertanyaan kritis 
  • Cek dan re-chek data

Hal-hal lain yang Dapat Meningkatkan Triangulasi Data

  • Triangulasi: upaya mengambil sumber-sumber data yang berbeda, dengan cara berbeda untuk memperoleh kejelasan mengenai hal yang diteliti.
  • Patton (1990), ada empat jenis triangulasi:
  1. Triangulasi data: variasi sumber data yang berbeda 
  2. Triangulasi peneliti: menyertakan beberapa peneliti atau evaluator yang berbeda.
  3. Triangulasi teori: menggunakan perspektif yang berbeda untuk menginterpretasi data yang sama.
  4. Triangulasi metode: dipakai metode yang berbeda untuk penelitian yang sama
Teori Penelitian Kualitatif: Reliabilitas, Validitas, dan Generalisasi
image source: workplacepsychology(dot)net
Baca juga: Definisi Teori Komunikasi Organisasi Menurut Para Ahli


Validitas adalah kesesuaian alat ukur dengan sesuatu yang hendak diukur (kuantitatif).

Validitas dalam penelitian kualitatif diistilahkan dengan Authenticity atau keaslian. Maksudnya adalah jujur, adil, seimbang berdasarkan sudut pandang subjek.

Istilah lain untuk validitias dalam kualitatif adalah kredibilitas.

Kredibilitas studi kualitatif terletak pada deskripsi mendalam yang menjelaskan kemajemukan aspek-aspek yang terkait dan interaksi dari berbagai aspek.

Ada yang tetap menggunakan istilah validitas juga dengan pengertian yang berbeda dengan cara tidak memanipulasi variable melainkan dengan cara mendalami dunia subjek

Mendapatkan validitas lebih susah daripada reliabilitas karena peneliti harus bisa memposisikan kapan sebagai peneliti, sebagi instrumen pengumpul data yang bersifat netral dan sebagai evaluator.


Perbedaan konsep generalisasi antara kuantitatif dan kualitatif.

Hal ini dikarenakan pengambilan sampel dalam penelitian kualitatif yang berdasarka purposif/sample teorits dan bukan random.

Karenanya, generalisasi diarahkan pada kasus-kasus yang menunjukkan kesesuaian konteks, bukan dalam kerangka prinsip acak (random).

Bahan Refrensi Tambahan Mengenai Penelitian Kualitatif

Berikut bahan tambahan bacaan yang bukan dituliskan oleh Universitas Psikologi dan hanya dipergunakan untuk kepentingan bahan bacaan belajar.

Pluralism in Qualitative Research: Synthesizing or Combining Methods

The importance of researching and studying people in as natural a way as possible is emphasised i.e. the ‘real world’ approach (Robson, 2011). This is contrasted with the positivist approach of refuting the null hypothesis. The need for the researcher to put herself

in the position of the ‘subject’ in her attempt to understand how the world is from that person’s perspective is emphasised. King and Horrocks, for instance, discuss these different, sometimes competing ‘quant – qual’ approaches to research. These authors suggest that, while often presented as the challenge of two ‘paradigms,’ it may be an unhelpful way to approach the quantitative – qualitative continuum (King & Horrocks, 2010, pp. 7). This is because some researchers today are beginning to think further about how we might optimise results by synthesizing qualitative and quantitative data to interpret our research evidence. Thus, we may further understand (verstehen), our findings, by drawing on social theory, from Max Weber’s work (Whimster, 2001, pp. 59-64). This interpretive approach, originating, as it does, from the field of social sciences, aims to develop new conceptual understandings and explanations in social theory (Pope, et al., 2007, pp. 72 onward). Cresswell and Clark (2007) recognise that, in order to avoid losing potential value of some data, it may be preferable to adopt ‘mixed methods’. This is often of value in, for example, health research where health evidence is needed from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives. This helps bring together diverse types of evidence needed to inform healthcare delivery and practice (Pope et al., 2007). I offer some suggestions and guidance for when either a qualitative or quantitative approach might be most useful, or alternatively, when it might be helpful to consider using combined methods i.e. a ‘mixed methods’ approach. The research focus can then be viewed from a number of vantage points, the approach known as triangulation (Banister et al., 2011; Huberman & Miles, 1998, pp. 199). Since triangulation is an approach which may be adopted across different qualitative methods, this is discussed next.


The term ‘triangulation’, according to Huberman and Miles, is thought to originate from Campbell and Fiske’s 1959 work on “multiple operationalism” developed from geometry and trigonometry (Huberman & Miles, 1998). Huberman and Miles caution that the term ‘triangulation’ may have more than one interpretation. However, it is usually used to describe data verification of data, and considered as a method for “…checking for the most common or the most insidious biases that can steal into the process of drawing conclusions.” (Huberman & Miles, 1998, pp. 198)

When researchers employ triangulation, multiple measures are used to ensure that any data variance is not due to the way in which the data were collected or measured. By linking different methods, the researcher intends that each method enhances the other, since all the information that is collected potentially offers to be contextually richer than if it were seen from only one vantage point. Each area provides a commentary on the other areas of the research (Frost, 2009). Triangulation can be a useful tool to examine data overload, where researchers analysing data may miss some important information due to an over-reliance on one portion of the data which could then skew the analysis. Another use is to provide checks and balances on the salience of first impressions. Triangulation is also a useful tool to help avoid data selectivity, such as being over-confident about a particular section of the data analysis such as when trying to confirm a key finding, or without taking into account the potential for sources of data unreliability (Huberman & Miles, 1998, pp.198-9). It should be noted however, that, although triangulation is generally considered helpful when using qualitative methods, it can just as equally be applied to quantitative or mixedmethods research. It is a pragmatic and strategic approach, whether applied to qualitative or qualitative research (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998). It may be viewed as providing a way of expanding the research perspective and becomes another means of strengthening research findings (Krahn et al.,1995).

Banister et al. (2011) point out that any method of enquiry, whether quantitative or qualitative, can be open to bias and/or value laden, a fact that should be acknowledged, “[…] a researcher and research cannot be value-free, and that a general ‘objectivist’ notion that science can be value-free is impossible, given that we are all rooted in a social world that is socially constructed. Psychology (at least in the West) has general values (even if these are often left implicit) of communicating broadening knowledge and understanding about people, with a commitment to both freedom of enquiry and freedom of expression.” (Banister et al., 2011, pp. 204)

Triangulation can help balance out, if not overcome, some of the challenges inherent in research, of whatever methodological persuasion (Todd et al., 2004). Triangulation can be separated into four broad categories: data triangulation, investigator triangulation, triangulation of method and triangulation of theory.

Data Triangulation

Using one data origin may sometimes not be ideal. Collecting information from more than one source can extend and enhance the research process. Banister and colleagues suggest that more than one viewpoint, site, or source, increases diversity, thus leading to increased understanding of the research topic (Banister et al., 2011; Cowman, 1993). The authors propose it can be helpful to look at data collected at different times, or stages, of fieldwork, in order to re-evaluate (“research”) the material. This might mean checking if anything has been overlooked or given too much emphasis, during the research process. The use of triangulation can be very helpful when verification of data is needed, such as when doing action research or an ethnography (Walsh, 2012, pp. 257 onward).

The approach supports research being a reflexive, organic process, enriched by researchers’ increasing depth of knowledge as they investigate the area (Finlay, 2003). This is linked to the role of reflexivity in qualitative research, considered by many to be an essential component in qualitative inquiry (Banister et al., 2011, pp. 200-201; Frost, 2011, pp. 11-12). The researcher is expected to be able to stand back from the completed research and consider, in retrospect, the selected methodology, whether the approach adopted suited the analysis undertaken what the experience may have been like for both the researcher and the participants etc. Other factors which may be considered include whether flaws were found in the research design, how the research study might be improved or refined, what further research might be needed etc. Some researchers advocate keeping a journal or diary recording these reflexions during the actual research process (Robson, 2011, pp. 270).

Investigator Triangulation

Investigator triangulation is a multi-vantage point method which, as the name suggests, uses different approaches to research into the one area, thus exploring a number of aspects of the topic being examined. In health psychology, for example, it can be a useful way to study certain types of patient groups such as children and their lives (Greig et al., 2008, pp. 88-89). Eiser and Twamley (1995), writing about children and illness, consider that triangulation provides a useful approach for researching children. They discuss research areas such as children’s understanding of illness and issues arising from a child’s consent to treatment. They point out that children have a different, more limited, vocabulary from adults. The authors state that, when researching illness and children, “…the greater involvement of the family all necessitate a distinctive approach” (Eiser & Twamley,1995, pp. 133). These authors conclude that combining methods involved in using triangulation helps improve investigators’ understanding of the issues being researched. They observe that, “Quantitative and qualitative research methods can be complementary. While quantitative work provides us with focused and highly generalizable information, qualitative work is particularly useful for new or sensitive areas where little may be known, or where the aim is to obtain understanding of more subjective and cultural aspects of illness.” (Eiser & Twamley,1999, pp. 145)

They conclude by citing Roche, stating, “…each type of approach while distinctly different in orientation, focus and application is able to contribute to the understanding of health problems and the development of solutions. The strengths of one approach do not diminish the other. Qualitative and quantitative techniques are complementary and both are powerful tools in their own right.” (Roche,1991, pp. 136, cited by Eiser & Twamley, ibid.)

Judith Sixsmith and John Daniels, for instance, consider investigator triangulation has the potential to enrich the research process. The authors, however, also flag up the possibility of difficulties in using this method. This can be further complicated when representing a range of perspectives, such as when incorporating stakeholders’ views. The authors suggest that “it cannot be assumed that that those around the table will have an equally shared degree of responsibility and contribution. If not, then once again fairness is challenged and ultimately more problems are created than solved.” (Sixsmith & Daniels, 2011, pp. 32-32)

Method Triangulation

Triangulation by method uses several approaches to collect data and information about the topic being explored. Here the researcher chooses the method of inquiry according to the question being researched e.g. by observing behaviours (an observational approach) or exploring how participants feel e.g. using interviews. Multiple methods help avoid any problems of the research findings being an artefact of the particular method used (Banister et al., 2011). This can help resolve issues around any questions of validity or distortion (Flick, 1992; 2007, pp. 37 – 53). Triangulation of method can, therefore, give different information about the research area, where, drawing on the early gestalists work on field and ground, the whole becomes ‘more than the sum of the parts’ (Helson, 1933; Perls et al., 1951). It is possible to combine qualitative and quantitative methods using data synthesis and triangulation, such as in ‘mixed-methods’ (Cresswell & Clark, 2007; Pope et al., 2007). This methodological approach might encompass either combining different types of data within a research project, perhaps by surveying a large number of participants , thus obtaining quantitative data, before moving on to an in-depth interview element by using a smaller, purposeful sample, to provide further illumination or explanation of the survey findings (qualitative data). Alternatively, researchers might synthesize the evidence from the research data across several qualitative and / or quantitative studies in order to elaborate further on the research context concerned (Pope et al., 2007; Thomas et al., 2004). This can be viewed as a pragmatic approach in order to obtain the best information from the evidence available.

Theoretical Triangulation

In contrast, theoretical triangulation explores, and is informed by, more than one theory or theoretical framework. This approach aims to explore the diversity and complexity that is frequently the reality of research particularly when examining human behaviours. This is especially likely where large, multidisciplinary research teams come together to work on a project such as in health research, economics, organisational behaviour and psychology. Theoretical triangulation acknowledges, and allows for, the broad range of theories, complexity and diversity of the real world and how different theories may be accounted for in research (Kok et al., 2004). This is linked to the concept of levels of triangulation where an attempt is made to investigate the topic at differing levels, where connections are made to both the explanations at the individual level and at a society level (Banister et al., 2011). This can lead to ‘contextualization’ of the picture to gain a greater understanding of the research ‘fit’ with the environment.

Qualitative Methods and The Implications for Psychological Research

The emphasis on interpretation and meaning has several implications for the qualitative psychology researcher and for service delivery areas such as health psychology and health services research. Gantley et al. (1999) in their text An Introduction to Qualitative Methods for Health Professionals, provide a useful summary:
  • Interpretative analysis concentrates on understanding the views of research participants; it makes explicit the distinction between respondents’ views and researcher’s interpretation.
  • Interpretative analysis accepts that there are different coexisting interpretations of any phenomenon, e.g. a sore throat, and may attach equal importance to each interpretation.
  • The recognition of multiple meanings challenges one of the basic tenets of western biomedicine and evidence-based medicine, that of positivism.
(Source: adapted from Gantley et al., 1999)

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