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For a research study to possess ecological validity, the methods, materials and setting of the study must approximate the real-life situation that is under investigation. Ecological validity is a form of validity in a research study. c) Testing a theory never requires realism. The concept of ecological validity has played an important role in research on perceptual development. These concepts are explained using examples so that readers may understand why the consideration of internal, external, and ecological validity is important for designing and conducting studies, and for understanding the merits of published research. Sometimes, there is concern that the controls put in place while completing a study can actually affect the outcome in a way that is outside of the normal parameters. The limitations of this concept are discussed and illustrated with examples from research on the development of intersensory perception. Ecological validity tells us whether or not our findings can be generalized to real-world settings. b) Internal validity is the highest priority for theory-testing. : In the school test example, if the pupils are used to regular testing, then the ecological validity is high because the testing process is unlikely to affect behavior. inferences made about the variables studied). Ecological validity is a type of external validity which looks at the testing environment and determines how much it influences behavior. In addition, ecological validity is associated with "generalizability". Unlike traditional notions of validity, ecological validity is not necessarily related to the methodological validity of a study (i.e. In the behavioral sciences, ecological validity refers to the judgement of whether a given study's variables and conclusions are sufficiently relevant to its population (e.g. Ecological Validity is important is because we need to make sure that results don’t change when brought outside the confines of a sterile lab environment. Consideration of ecological validity in the assessment of patients with brain impairment 3. Why do studies conducted in theory-testing mode de-emphasize ecological validity? These findings suggest that the continued development of tests designed with ecological validity in mind is a worthwhile pursuit, and that use of such tests is important when an understanding of the individual's everyday cognitive functioning is required. Ecological validity is primarily concerned with environmental generalization. the "real-world" context). The concept of ecological validity has been proposed as a crucial element of this current research thrust, and this paper attempts to identify and define some of the more important criteria underpinning ecologically valid research in sport psychology. Ecological validity refers to the extent to which a theory, study or approach in psychology approximates the real-world situation that it is to be applied to or study. Why Ecological Validity Is Especially Important for Aging For many years, researchers have been discussing whether to focus on internal or external validity in experimental designs. Essentially this is the extent to which findings (from a study) can be generalized (or extended) to the "real world". Such validity is important for a psychology study or approach to be taken into account or used in other situations. 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