Egg Research Critique

Originally published here.

Carrying out the Egg Research as a collaborative group proved to be a challenging task and this in turn, produced many criticisms and faults in our method of approach. The validity of our research was especially questionable.
When referring to validity, there are two types we must consider. External and internal validity. Internal validity refers to the amount of realism the investigation holds ie. in the words of Graham R. Gibbs ‘the evidence found reflects the reality under investigation.’
When taking this definition into consideration, our investigation severely lacked internal validity. To an extent, this was of no fault of the group but just the mere fact that the question was so broad, it was hard to pin it down. ‘What is the best way to cook an egg?’ In our research, we chose to take this to mean what is the HEALTHIEST way to cook an egg. However, through reading others research, a lot of different approaches can be taken to this ie. tastiest way or quickest way. Therefore, as we only chose to go down one line of inquiry when carrying out our research, we effectively ignored all other aspects and approaches to the question which reduces the internal validity and overall realism of the investigation.
On the other hand, external validity refers to the extent to which the results can be generalised to the wider population. Again, our research lacked external validity. A survey was carried out on 17 people of a variety of ages. On one hand, this provided a range of ages which could boost our external validity as it takes all frames of mind into account. However, 17 people is not a sufficient amount to be able to apply the findings to a wider population of people. As Blaxter et al wrote in
Advantages and Disadvantages of Surveys , with a good response rate, surveys can provide a lot of data very quickly. However, our data did not produce a good response rate. Therefore, the lack of response to this questionnaire meant our findings lack external validity as well as reliability as our results are not supported by much evidence. Although this is extremely important, there are also a range of other factors that need to be taken into consideration when talking about external validity other than the number of people involved in a survey. For example, all the people involved live in England and other countries may have extremely different views on what the healthiest ways to cook an egg are. Blaxter et al also said that ‘with an appropriate sample, surveys may at representation and provide generalised results.’ However, our sample was not entirely appropriate if we were to cover all aspects of the research.

From critiquing my own research, I have learnt some valuable skills and lessons. It is always important to thoroughly plan and talk about your research with your fellow collaborators first, before jumping right in. This is because there are several different aspects of the research which need to be addressed. Through this, you should assign different roles to different people in order to make sure everything is done in and everything is indeed covered in time. Every participant should be willing to help this to happen and contribute to getting the research completed in time.