External validity refers to the extent to which the research findings based on a sample of individuals or objects can be generalized to the same population that the sample is taken from or to other similar populations in terms of contexts, individuals, times, and settings. Thus, external validity is generally concerned with the generalizability of research results and findings to the population that the sample has been taken from. It is a very important concept in all types of research designs (true experimental, quasi-experimental, and nonexperimental) including ones that use surveys to gather data. Therefore, assuring the external validity and the generalizability of the findings should be one of the primary goals of the survey researcher.

The language of survey research often does not include the ...

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