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Mixed Methods

Presented by: Amanda Martin
EDLE 5000

What are mixed methods?


Methods Studies are studies that

are products of the pragmatist paradigm
and that combine the qualitative and
quantitative approaches within different
phases of the research process.
(Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2008, p.22) The
mixing of quantitative and qualitative
research can take many forms. The
possibilities are almost limitless.

Research on Mixed

Mixed Method studies have emerged from

the paradigm wars between qualitative and
quantitative research approaches to
become a widely used mode of inquiry.
Depending on choices made across four
dimensions, mixed methods can provide an
investigator with many design choices
which involve a range of sequential and
concurrent strategies.

Historically speaking

Mixed methods strategies are less well known than

either the quantitative or qualitative approaches. The
concept of mixing different methods originated in 1959
when Campbell and Fisk used multi-methods to study
validity of psychological traits. They encouraged
others to employ their multimethod matrix to examine
multiple approaches to data collection. This prompted
others to mix methods, and soon approaches
associated with field methods, such as observations
and interviews (qualitative data), were combined with
traditional surveys (quantitative data). Today many
scientists believe that no area should be exclusive to
one type of research method.

Sequential Mixed Methods

Sequential mixed methods procedures are those

in which the researcher seeks to elaborate on or
expand on the findings of one method with
another method. This may involve beginning with
a qualitative interview for exploratory purposes
and following up with a quantitative, survey
method with a large sample so that the researcher
can generalize results to a population.
Alternatively, the study may begin with a
quantitative method in which a theory or concept
is tested, followed by a qualitative method
involving detailed exploration with a few cases or

Concurrent Mixed Methods

Concurrent mixed methods procedures are those in

which the researcher converges or merges
quantitative and qualitative data in order to provide a
comprehensive analysis of the research problem. In
this design, the investigator collects both forms of data
at the same time and then integrates the information
in the interpretation of the overall results. Also, in this
design, the researcher may embed one smaller form of
data within another larger data collection in order to
analyze different types of questions (the qualitative
addresses the process while the quantitative, the

Transformative Mixed

Transformative mixed methods procedures

are those in which the researcher uses a
theoretical lens as an overarching
perspective within a design that contains
both quantitative and qualitative data. This
lens provides a framework for topics of
interest, methods for collecting data, and
outcomes or changes anticipated by the
study. Within this lens could be a data
collection method that involves a sequential
or a concurrent approach.

Required Researcher Skills

Knowledge of various research methods used.

Understanding of assumptions underlying each research method.

Working knowledge of analytic procedures and tools related to both

quantitative and qualitative research.

Ability to understand and interpret results from the different


Willingness to accept and forego methodological prejudices from

training from prior discipline.

Understanding of different disciplines, audiences and appropriate

studies where mixed methods are acceptable.


Creswell. (2008) Retrieved from http://


Johnson and Christensen. (2004). Educational Research: Quantitative, Qualitative,

and Mixed Approaches. 2nd Edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C. (2008). Introduction to mixed method and mixed model
studies in the social and behavioral science. In V.L. Plano-Clark & J. W. Creswell (Eds.),
The Mixed Methods Reader, (pp. 7-26).

Terrell, Stephen. (2012). Mixed-methods research methodology. The Qualitative

Report. Volume 17 Number 1. Retrieved from http://