Conclusion

Multimethod research is a systematic, natural extension of the construct validity approach that has been an explicit basis of our self-concept research program and is implicit in most psychological research. Much of the logic from this multi-method perspective is derived from Campbell and Fiske's heuristic development of MTMM analyses and the many advances in this approach to construct validation. The essence of the construct validity approach is to look for areas of convergence and nonconvergence in measures of the same construct across multiple methods. At the microlevel, the multiple "methods" might be different items used to infer the same latent construct. At an intermediate level of abstraction, the multiple methods might be different instruments designed to measure parallel or overlapping constructs or responses from different types of informants making self-ratings about themselves or ratings of others. At a higher level of abstraction the multiple methods might be different constructs that are posited to be related or fundamentally different research methodologies (e.g., qualitative and quantitative studies). In our research we have expanded this notion of multiple perspectives to include multilevel modeling to evaluate the extent of generalizability, for example, across different schools and across whole countries. We have also viewed cross-cultural research as another application of multimethod research in which the multiple nationalities or cultures are seen as multiple methods to test the generalizability of our measures, empirical results, and theoretical predictions. Whereas this diversity of multimethod applications is not easily encapsulated into a neat multimethod taxonomy, the essence of the approach is to interrogate psychological research findings from multiple perspectives—multiple indicators, multiple outcomes, multiple independent variables, multiple methodologies, multiple analytical approaches, and multiple settings. The extent to which these multiple perspectives are incorporated into research designs impacts substantially on the construct validity of the results and the confidence with which conclusions can be generalized.

Chapter 31

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