Chapter 2: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Research
Answers to Review Questions
Describe the key features of quantitative and qualitative research. Just look at Table 2.1, which shows the key characteristics of these two approaches in their pure or extreme forms as well as the characteristics of mixed research. I will mention a few of these here. Quantitative research uses the deductive or confirmatory or “top down” scientific method; it is used primarily for description, explanation, and prediction. It is based on quantitative data, in particular on the analysis of variables. The results are statistical and a goal is to generalize the results. In qualitative research, in contrast, the “bottom up” or inductive exploratory method is used; it is used primarily for the purposes of description and exploration and to gain an understanding of how people think and experience their lives. It is based on qualitative data which during analysis are examined for patterns, themes, and holistic features. A narrative report is presented and generalization is usually not a goal because the focus is on the local, the personal, the subjective.
Describe the key features of mixed research.
Mixed research is the third and newest research methodology paradigm. As you can see in Table 2.1 it tries to mix the best of qualitative and quantitative research into research studies. Philosophically, mixed research takes an eclectic, pragmatic, and commonsense approach, suggesting that the researcher mix quantitative and qualitative in a way that works best for the given research question being studied in a particular context. Mixed research uses both deductive and inductive methods, obtains both quantitative and qualitative data, attempts to corroborate and complement findings, and takes a balanced approach to research. Later in the chapter you will learn about the fundamental principle of mixed research which states that when planning mixed research, the researcher...
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