Reflecting on Mixed Methods Research

Reflecting on Mixed Methods Research Order Instructions: Consider how qualitative and quantitative research methods complement one another and consider the role of mixed methods designs.

Reflecting on Mixed Methods Research
Reflecting on Mixed Methods Research

Would it ever be viable to consider only quantitative or only qualitative methods for a research study? How can mixed methods vs. single (qual-Quan) methods extend our understanding of a research problem? Why would it be important for a researcher to be conversant in both quantitative and qualitative methods? How do your thoughts on these questions relate to your worldview? What strategies might you use to help you become more comfortable with or develop further expertise in mixed methods research—as a consumer and/or producer of research?

Reflecting on Mixed Methods Research Sample Answer

The judicial mix of both qualitative and quantitative methods of research is known as the mixed methods of research. This criterion allows the researcher to blend quantitative and qualitative methodologies and tools in solving research problem questions (Hesse-Biber, 2010).

The two main approaches to research (quantitative approach and qualitative approach) complement each other in their application. While the quantitative approach involves the collection and use of quantitative/numerical data in the rigorous formal and rigid quantitative analysis, qualitative methods focus on the use of a subjective assessment of behaviors, opinion and attitudes (Hesse-Biber, 2010). This kind of Research is a function of the researcher’s insights and impressions. The results are non-numerical/qualitative and cannot be used in rigorous quantitative analysis. However, the content/textual data is the basis of quantitative research. For example, someone can observe that milk in a baker boils (qualitative data) while another person takes the initiative and  goes further to record that the water boils in the baker  at 100 degrees Celsius temperature (quantitative data).

According to Tashakkori and Teddlie (2010), mixed design/methods of research provide a lot of insight and input in the world of research. Mixed approach enables the analysis of both numerical and non-numerical attributes of a research problem. This methodology provides a better understanding and integration of research problems than either of the two approaches used independently. The viability of using either qualitative or quantitative method alone in resolving research questions is compromised. The Two approaches when used separately have a lot of latent weaknesses that can only be overcome by the mixed approach.

The mixed approach unlike the single (quan- qual) approaches enriches our knowledge and understanding on the research question. Knowledge on the research problem is extented because the researcher can view the research question from different angles and dimensions. This wide spectrum enables clarification of unexpected findings and eliminate potential contradictions in the model/research hence a broader understanding.

To carry out and effective mixed design/methods research, the research needs to be very conversant with both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. A background on the two approaches will ensure that the researcher minimizes some of the inherent weaknesses of the methodologies as he aims at maximizing the strengths of the mixed approach ( Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2010).

My thoughts on the question and application of mixed methods in modern research are very categorical. I strongly admire and support its application in research. As a researcher, I would advocate for the application of sequential explanatory design strategies in my research endeavors. This strategy will enable me to collect and examine/analyze quantitative data first. Collection and analysis of non-numerical data would then follow suit. This strategy is all about giving qualitative data an upper-hand while the findings and integration of the research model are done in the interpretation phase.

Reflecting on Mixed Methods Research References

Hesse-Biber, S. N. (2010). Mixed methods research: Merging theory with practice. New York: Guilford Press.

Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C. (2010). Sage handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research. Los Angeles, Calif: SAGE Publications.


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