Basic statistical concepts like reliability and validity are paramount to forensic psychology research. You need to know how reliable and valid any particular research study may be. To do so, you need a good understanding of these concepts as well as others.
As you have learned this week, there are different forms of reliability and validity. Statistical reliability and validity are simply numerical descriptions of the basic concepts of each, which allows the researcher to determine if the instrument gives a consistent measurement (reliability) and if it measures what it claims to measure (validity). Even in the area of treatment, the field of psychology is moving toward “evidence-based therapies.” This means that the therapy used must show empirical evidence (reliability and validity) and be of help to those who are treated. Being able to show empirical support for what you do as a forensic psychology professional provides the public and legal system with a way to judge the value of your contribution as a forensic psychology professional.
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