Mixed Methods Research Designs
Every work involves the use of specific tool or apparatus that enhances the attainment of the desired objectives. Similarly, in research, there are diverse methods that can be applied to collect data and come up with scientific reality or information about the social reality. In some instances, research work will need to apply combined techniques or more than one technique to increase the chances of getting more reliable information. One of the prominent research techniques is the use of the Mixed Method Research, (MMR). Mixed method approach, also referred to as the multi-methodology, involves the application of both the quantitative and qualitative techniques in a single study. The application of both techniques can either be concurrent or sequential. The mixed method approach is likely to give a wider dimension of approach to research when applied in psychology-based study. The current paper describes the mixed method research as an integration of both quantitative and qualitative methods. In addition, the paper explains the type of questions best explained by the mixed method approach. The paper also elaborates the strength and limitation of mixed method approach. Finally, there is the rationale for and against the utility of mixed methods in psychology.
According to Johnson & Onwuegbuzie (2004), the mixed method approach can be used to bridge the rift between quantitative and qualitative techniques. Both techniques though viewed as different, may have closer similarities. For example, both techniques aim to gather empirical evidence or data to address the questions posed. Mixed method approach is therefore an integrated approach that erases the limitations posed by the single method and can be used to answer a question posed on the social phenomenon (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). The mixed method approach technique usually uses both quantitative and qualitative techniques in order to create a greater validity that can be derived through the use of varied techniques of data collection. In the mixed method research technique, both the qualitative and quantitative data are collected. Afterwards, the data are mixed together to produce more comprehensive and integrated results regarding the social reality. The mixed method technique can therefore be viewed as the bringing together of the qualitative and quantitative techniques (Creswell, 2014). Consequently, the mixed method technique can be explained as a convergence of results arising from both the qualitative and the quantitative results. This can be illustrated by the diagram below.
The data collected from both the qualitative and quantitative techniques are then connected together to form integrated research results.
Lastly, the information that is got from the result of carrying out both techniques is then embedded together and used to explain the social phenomenon that was under enquiry.
|Quantitative data Qualitative data (Integrated research results)|
Any research study usually aims to answer a specific question or identify a gap that has been identified. When applying the mixed method of approach, one question is usually developed and then extended into quantitative and qualitative sub-questions. Once the enquiry has been undertaken, different perspectives of research are got and can therefore be used to explain the social phenomena under the study (Collins & O’cathain, 2009). The questions that are raised and are to be investigated can be answered from a number of perspectives. In a concurrent mixed study method, both the quantitative and qualitative studies are carried out together and results emanating from the study combined. In a sequential study approach, the qualitative method for instance can be carried out first while the quantitative technique will be used to test a named hypothesis arising from the study so as to enhance generalization of the facts (Burkholder, Cox, & Crawford, 2016).
One of the advantages of using the mixed method approach is that the researcher can be able to use narratives, words and pictures to be able to explain reality or factual data in social phenomena (Creswell, 2014). For instance, Psychological facts can better be understood when a combination of these concepts will be used to aid in the explanation of the social reality. From another insightful perspective, the researcher has an ample platform that allows him/her to be able to generate and at the same time test any grounded theory (Burkholder, Cox, & Crawford, 2016). Since the researcher will not be confined to particular tenets of the single method of research, he/she can be able to tackle broader and complete varieties of questions. This allows the researcher to explore fully and comprehensively the case that he/she is studying to come up with conclusive information on what he/she is studying. In the mixed method approach, therefore, there is the concept of complementarily. Additionally, the mixed method allows the researcher to be able to add insightful facts and methods that can be ignored when a single research technique is applied in carrying out research work especially in psychology.
On the other hand, the mixed method can be considered to be more time-consuming and expensive. From another perspective, a lot of researchers may also find it difficult to handle any conflicting ideas or results arising from the study that uses the mixed method research technique. Furthermore, there are some researchers who may hold methodological predilections, which may make them lean on one method at the expense of the other. In such cases, the researcher may fail to understand the mixed methods as a complete integration of both the qualitative and quantitative methods.
Psychology-based researches require intensive implementation of research techniques that come up with viable results that fully explain a specific social phenomenon. For example, when the mixed method is used in finding out psychological concepts in the social world, the researcher is likely to come up with stronger evidence that will be derived from the convergence and collaboration of ideas from both the qualitative and quantitative techniques, applied together. When both methods have been applied, the researcher can come up with a complete knowledge that can be effective in explaining and informing psychological practices and theories (Edmonds & Kennedy, 2012). From another insightful perspective, when the mixed method approach is used to investigate a psychological concept, overlapping, though diverse ideas about a social phenomenon can be derived.
When undertaking a psychological study, the mixed method can enhance complimentarily between the quantitative and qualitative techniques. For instance, the results that can be derived from one method can be verified using the other. For example, the qualitative study can be used to come up with a psychological concept in the social world. Quantitative study can afterwards be undertaken to verify the facts through coming up with a hypothesis following the survey undertaken from the qualitative study (Mertens, 2014). Consequently, when qualitative technique is used as a platform to carry out a survey study, quantitative technique can be used to verify the facts.
Contrarily, the mixed method approach can pose difficulties to the researcher especially where he/she will be required to apply two or more approaches concurrently to study a psychological concept on a certain population. The researcher will be required to go an extra mile to understand how to apply both methods and how to mix them appropriately.
In conclusion, a single method used in carrying out research can produce a variety of weaknesses. The mixed method approach can be used to compensate for the weaknesses that can be prevalent in every single technique. For instance, the use of both the qualitative and quantitative techniques yields results that give a comprehensive outlook about the social phenomenon under enquiry.
Burkholder, G. J., Cox, K. A., & Crawford, L. M. (2016).The scholar-practitioner’s guide to research design. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Publishing.
Collins, K. & O’cathain, A. (2009). Introduction: Ten points about mixed methods
research to be considered by the novice researcher. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(1), 2-7.
Creswell, J. (2014). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.
Creswell, J. W. (2014). A concise introduction to mixed methods research. Sage Publications.
Edmonds, W. A., & Kennedy, T. D. (2012). An applied reference guide to research designs: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Sage Publications.
Johnson, R. & Onwuegbuzie, A. (2004). Mixed Methods Research: A Research Paradigm Whose Time Has Come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26.
Mertens, D. M. (2014). Research and evaluation in education and psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Sage publications.
Mixed methods research involves the combination of both qualitative and quantitative
methodologies to come up with solutions. Mixed methods research involves looking at all angles
of a research problem during an investigation. The researcher has to analyze the problem using
all the procedures involved in collecting and analyzing data in both the qualitative and
quantitative context. This is the basic layout of conducting a mixed methods research. With
mixed methods research, the research questions must address both the qualitative and the
quantitative aspects involved in the research problem (Creswell, 2003).
The design of the mixed methods research should be based on either or both of the
perspectives combined in the method. Many times, analysis begins with the collection of
quantitative data followed by the collection of qualitative data. Qualitative data is collected and
used to explain the findings of the analysis of quantitative data. Mixed methods research is
intended to make full use of the strengths of qualitative and quantitative approaches to come up
with a solution.
The basic structure of the mixed methods research system is a combination of the
qualitative and quantitative method. However, many complex methods of mixing the two
methods and integrating them in every stage of the research process have been developed. Mixed
method research realizes and makes use of both nature and the physical world as well as culture
and the human social world. The approach involves a combination of aspects that have been
previously set aside for either quantitative or qualitative research methods. However, simply
collecting qualitative data and quantitative data is not enough. The data must be integrated by
merging it and showing the relationship between the data to make the method Mixed Research
MIXED METHODS RESEARCH 3
A major advantage of the mixed method research process is the ability to cater for a
majority of research questions that may arise. According to experts, mixed methods are used to
research questions that relate to unknown aspects of a phenomenon. The questions are then
answered using both numeric and narrative forms, catering for both qualitative and quantitative
aspects. The best way to get a research question answered using the mixed method is to come up
with one general question. The question should be made up of sub-questions that cover the
qualitative and quantitative aspects of the research problem. Additionally, the researcher could
form two questions covering the qualitative aspects. After this, the mixed methods question is
formed, with the aim to come up with a way to integrate the findings from the two questions
(Johnson and Onwuegbuzie, 2004).
As discussed, the mixed method research process combines two traditional methods of
research methods to form a better method. As a result, the method has several advantages. The
main advantage is that the method allows the researcher to collect rich and comprehensive data.
Human beings, naturally process information by combining both quantitative and qualitative
aspects. Integrating these two aspects provides the complete picture required to come up with a
definitive analysis. Mixed methods recognize the importance of the natural aspects of data as
well as the effect the data has on the cultural and social aspects. As a result, words and pictures`
can be used to explain numerical data, making it easier to understand and process.
Additionally, mixed methods research has advantages of its own as well. The major
disadvantage is the fact it is often difficult for one research to complete both the qualitative and
quantitative aspects of the research. Please complete this sentence->F different approaches are
used for the two aspects; a team may be required to complete the research. This makes mixed
MIXED METHODS RESEARCH 4
methods research expensive to complete. This method also takes longer periods of time to
complete (Johnson and Onwuegbuzie, 2004).
This is irrelevant->Mixed research methods can be useful in providing certain
information from research questions of a complex nature as is characteristic of engineering
problems. Engineering problems require data involving their physical aspect as well as data
involving their application and their effects on a social and cultural level. Research in
engineering begins with the study of existing literature on a subject. Literature review must then
be accompanied by how certain data and projects work in the real world. The study of these two
factors must be considered to solve problems that exist. To maximize the usefulness of the data
collected, engineers must then integrate qualitative and quantitative data to come up with a
sensible analysis. For instance, the relationship between the proper functioning of a rechargeable
battery and the portability. The customers need a battery that can be moved. Similarly, the
battery must be functional. These two aspects must be considered when doing research. Mixed
method research in engineering is aimed at integrating quality of the product and the customer
needs and requirements (Collins and O’cathain, 2009).
For an engineering project to be completed successfully, systematic combination of data
involving lessons learned and feedback from customers together with existing literature
regarding the subject. Previously, research in engineering has emphasized on the measurable
aspects and technical nature of data and research. However, this should change, and more
qualitative aspects of research should be included in the future as well (Burkholder and
Please provide a rationale for the utility of mixed methods research in psychology.
Please provide a rationale against the utility of mixed methods research in psychology.
MIXED METHODS RESEARCH 5
Johnson, R. B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (October 01, 2004). Mixed Methods Research: A
Research Paradigm Whose Time Has Come. Educational Researcher, 33, 7, 14-26.
Collins, K. M. T., & O’cathain, A. (June 01, 2009). Introduction: Ten points about mixed
methods research to be considered by the novice researcher. International Journal of
Multiple Research Approaches, 3, 1, 2-7.
Burkholder, G. J., Cox, K. A., & Crawford, L. M. (2016). The scholar-practitioner’s guide to
research design. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Publishing.
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method
approaches. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.