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Onwuegbuzie Reviewed work(s): Source: Educational Researcher, Vol. 33, No. 7 (Oct., 2004), pp. 14-26 Published by: American Educational Research Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3700093 . Accessed: 26/09/2012 11:43
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finally. 33. we provide specific sets of designsfor the two major types of mixed methods research (mixed-model deandmixed-method we and. as recognized by mixed methods research. pp. and. 14-26 1| EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER . 2000. 1963. p. and totally antithetical ends" (Guba. generalizable' .. Popper. that it is impossible to differentiate fully causes and effects. educational researchers should eliminate their biases. we explain the tenets of pragmatism. we brieflyreview the parathesis. writing style using the impersonal passivevoice and technical terminology.and context-free generalizations (Nagel..5We hope the field will move beyond quantitative versus qualitative research arguments because.. In doing this. relativism. The goal of mixed methods researchis not to replace either of these approaches but rather to draw from the or more than a century. idealism. and thick (empathic) description. "one professing the superiority of'deep. These researchershave traditionally called for rhetorical neutrality. Further.3 4 That is. Guba (a leading qualitative purist) clearly represented the purist position when he contended that "accommodation between paradigms is impossible . in which establishing and describing social laws is the major focus (Tashakkori & Teddlie. including their associated methods. ods research as following (recursively)an eight-step process. 1990. They argue for the superiorityof reject constructivism.which frequentlyresults in superior research (compared to monomethod research). instead. and test or empiricallyjustify their stated hypotheses.g. which posits that qualitative and quantitative research paradigms. time. implicitly if not explicitly. and to provide a framework for designingand conducting mixed methods research. Qualitative purists also are characterized by a dislike of a detached and passive style of writing. BurkeJohnson and AnthonyJ. No. we are led to vastly diverse. written directly and somewhat informally. purists have emerged on both sides (cf. 1959. that time.1 From these debates. 1984). 2004. These purists contend that multiple-constructed realities abound. Lincoln & Guba. A key feature of mixed methods research is its methodologicalpluralism or eclecticism. preferring. Mixed methods research will be successfulas more investigatorsstudy and help advanceits concepts and as they regularlypractice it. humanism. Maxwell & Delaney. they contend that the observer is separate from the entities that are subject to observation. remain emotionally detached and uninvolved with the objects of study. 1990). 1983. Schrag. rich. 1992) articulateassumptions that are consistent with what is commonly called a positivist philosophy. sometimes. explainmixed methsigns designs). that logic flows from specific to general (e. and.2 Quantitative purists (Ayer. they advocate the incompatibility thesis (Howe. . that researchis value-bound. cannot and should not be mixed. The quantitative versus qualitative debate has been so divisive that some graduate students who graduate from educational institutions with an aspiration to gain employment in the world of academia or research are left with the impression that they have to pledge allegiance to one research school of thought or the other. to present pragmatism as offeringan attractivephilosophical partnerfor mixed methods research. . hermeneutics.I I Mixed Methods Research: A Research Paradigm Whose Time Has Come by R. 1998). 1986) are desirable and possible. 2000. 1985). Schwandt. both quantitative and qualitative researchare important and useful. Quantitative purists maintain that social science inquiry should be objective. According to this school of thought. Both sets of purists view their paradigms as the ideal for research. and Qualitative purists (also called constructivists interpretivists) what they call positivism. postmodernism (Guba & Lincoln. rich observational data' and the other the virtues of 'hard. 1335). involving a formal Educational Researcher. Smith. the two dominant researchparadigms have resulted in two researchcultures. 81). 1973.Vol. p. Our purpose in writing this article is to present mixed methods research as the third research paradigm in educational research. detailed. 1959. 7. and that knower and known cannot be separated because the subjective knower is the only source of reality (Guba. 1989. 1988). Lincoln & Guba. disparate. explainthe fundamental we principleof mixed researchand how to applyit. Indeed. That is. A disturbing feature of the paradigm wars has been the relentless focus on the differences between the two orientations. explanations are generated inductively from the data). we show some commonalidigm "wars"and incompatibility ties between quantitativeand qualitativeresearch. the advocates of quantitative and qualitative researchparadigmshave engaged in ardent dispute. data" (Sieber. and real causes of social scientific outcomes can be determined reliably and validly. Campbell & Stanley. quantitative purists believe that social observations should be treated as entities in much the same way that physical scientists treat physical phenomena.and context-free generalizations are neither desirable nor possible. Onwuegbuzie The purposes of this articleare to position mixed methods research (mixedresearchis a synonym) as the natura!complement to traditional qualitativeand quantitativeresearch.
2003. research the soRegardless cialsciences an attemptto provide warranted assertions represents of humanbeings)andthe abouthumanbeings(orspecific groups in environments which they live and evolve(Biesta& Burbules.2004a). We contend that epistemological paradigmatic of is ecumenicalism withinreachin the research paradigm mixed methodsresearch. and ratiolidity strategies. chemicalcomputational systems(deJong.choosingthe OCTOBER 2004 |5 . includingholisticphenomena suchas titudes. Mixed methods research offersgreatpromisefor practicing researchers would like to see methodologistsdescribeand who developtechniquesthat are closerto what researchers actually as use in practice. Meeker. epistemology the Howe. subjecand the tive)decisionsaremadethroughout research process that A are of socialgroups. among other things. sciences. In the socialand behavioral leadsto the examination manydifferent of standing phenomena. (Bryman. Thereis room in ontologyfor mentalandsocialreality well as the moremicro as and more clearlymaterial reality. 1989. 75) suggestthat "theobjectives. and natureof inquiryareconsistentacrossmethodsand acrossparadigms. developing the researcher views as being the targetconstruct. That is.Althoughcertainmethodolowith one particular research tradition.this goal of under2003). complex.g. bothsetsof researchers into incorporate safeguards theirinquiries in orderto minimizeconfirmation and othersourcesof inbias that validity (or lack of trustworthiness) have the potentialto existin everyresearch (Sandelowski.Thereis rarely entailment fromepistemology to methodology(ohnson. 78) point out questions.For example. what arethe importantprobwhat that instruments arebelievedto measure lems?). ultimately.Mixed methods research the third research can paradigm also help bridgethe schismbetweenquantitative research & and qualitative (Onwuegbuzie Leech. many disciplinary. methods. there is a tendency among some researchers treat to and methodas beingsynonymous 1984. to to and to providesuperiorresearch. someindividuals and who engagein the qualitative versus debate quantitative paradigm appear to confuse the logic ofjustificationwith researchmethods. 2003). We will try to clarify the most of importantissuesin the remainder this article. 1998. promotecollaboration.of and strengths minimizethe weaknesses both in singleresearch studies and acrossstudies.Althoughmany procedures or methodstypically this havebeen linkedto certainparadigms.both quantitative researchers empirical use to and qualitative observations address research and Sidani(1995.Sechrest thatboth methodologies "describe theirdata. study all in of paradigmatic orientation. p. Philosophical Issues Debates As notedby Onwuegbuzie Teddlie(2003). allresearchers one and of need a solid understanding multiplemethodsused by other scholars facilitatecommunication.mixing nales. gies tend to be associated DzurecandAbraham(1993. Johnson & Christensen.Also.and that are these methodsand procedures to be carried objectively.andculture..with sits egorically. out the However.& Graham.designs. Forexample.for tiple methods(e.constructexplanatory argumentsfrom their data. Forexample. & Onwuegbuzie. on the left side and quantitative reresearch qualitative sitting searchsittingon the rightside. scope.For example. to give a readon methods-induced for for see corroboration.. We contendthatepistemological methodological and pluralism shouldbe promoted educational in research thatresearchers so are informedaboutepistemological methodological and possibilities so and. complimentarity.on the "positivist" of the fence.2003). Greeneet and al. researchers methshould be free to use quantitative qualitative andquantitative researchers shouldbe freeto usequalitative ods.. betweenresearch and research methodsis neilinkage paradigm nor thersacrosanct necessary (Howe." Additionally. Methodologicalwork on the mixed methodsresearch paradigmcan be seen in several recent books (Brewer & Hunter. Phillips. Reichardt& & Rallis. few examples researchers members various in inresearch of subjectivism intersubjectivism quantitative and cludedecidingwhat to study (i. p. Creswell. vice versa. Tashakkori Teddlie.Loomis. atsuchasintentions. If you visualizea continuum with qualitativeresearchanchoredat one pole and quantitativeresearch anchoredat the other.Today's research world is becomingincreasingly interanddynamic. Newman & Benz.Caracelli." contend that researchers research We and need to be askingwhen each research approach methodologists is mosthelpfulandwhen andhow theyshouldbe mixedor combined in theirresearch studies. 1989). in 2004.aswellas morereductive phenomena nerve cells. researchers therefore. approaches that aresometimesoverlooked.data analysis. modernday "positivists" that science involves confirmationand falsification. Much work remains be undertaken the areaof mixedmethodsresearch to in vaits philosophical positions. This is farfrombeingthe casebecause logic of does not dic(an aspectof epistemology) justification important methodsretatewhat specificdatacollectionand dataanalytical searchers mustuse. 1992). and biomacromolecules.experiences. Commonalities Among the Traditional Paradigms bedifferences Althoughtherearemanyimportant paradigmatic tweenqualitative quantitative and research havebeenfre(which Researcher other and quentlywritten about in the Educational therearesomesimilarities between various the places). needto complement methodwithanother. thatwe areableto conductmoreeffectiveresearch.If one prefers thinkcatto large mixedmethodsresearch in a new thirdchair. 1998. and speculateabout why the outcomes they observedhappenedas they did.1989. micro-levelhomunculi. 1988. 1992). 1986). There areseveralinteresting mythsthat appearto be held by side some purists.differences epistemological beliefs(such as a differencein beliefsabout the appropriate researcher shouldnot preventa qualitative logic of justification) fromutilizingdatacollectionmethodsmoretypicallyassociated with quantitative and research.they disregard factthat manyhuman(i.e. 1994." As claim noted by Onwuegbuzie(2002)..mixedmethodsresearch coversthe set of points in the middlearea. Greene. Takinga non-puristor comor mixedpositionallowsresearchers mix and match to patibilist their that offerthe best chanceof answering designcomponents research research specific questions.2004).2004. expansion. research a content domainthat is dominated in one method often can be betterinformedby the use of mulby bias. regarding and integrationprocedures.e. the barriers that quantitative educational researchers have built 6 arisefrom a narrowdefinitionof the conceptof "science.
suspectthatmost researchers softrelare We ativists(e. Guba. equally but validaccountsof the samephenomenonaremultiplerealities posessome poalso tentialproblems.e.he or she will likelyhavea head-oncollision. use a methodandphilosophythatattemptto fit together inthe into a by qualitativeand quantitativeresearch sights provided workable solution.and beliefs).exing. practithinking(thinking . alsohelpsto shedlighton how research can approaches be mixed (Hoshmand.. Watson. drawing basedon the collecteddata.Taking a pragmatic baland anced or pluralistposition will help improvecommunication from differentparadigms they attemptto as among researchers advance 2003. of (g) the value-ladenness inquiry(thisis similarto the lastpoint but specifically pointsout thathumanbeingscan neverbe completelyvalue free.. the bottomline is thatresearch fruitfully apshouldbe mixedin waysthat offerthe bestopportuniproaches ties for answering questions. a hypothesis Quine thesisor idea of auxiliary assumptions cannot be fully tested in isolationbecauseto makethe test we alsomustmakevarious the is assumptions..ethical. Basic agreementhas been reachedon each of the followingissues:(a) the relativity the of of reason" whatappears can reasonable vary across (i.e. and end up in the hospitalintensive careunit.contradictory..Fortunately.not finalproofin in short. sometimesdo not pay due attention to researchers qualitative for rationale interpretations their data of providingan adequate too 2000). "allreality a material for uncovering humanisticresearch is to be deperior findings") terminedby the experiences practical or of consequences belief in or use of the expression in the world (Murphy. is however. producehigh-quality rigorousqualitative Finally. the recognition thatwe only obtainprobabilistic evidence. 1990). axioepistemological.eventhoughthe is fullyobjective idealof objectivity be a usefulone.When dealingwith human research. vestigate. decidingwhat eleinterpretations ments of the data to emphasizeor publish. many(ormost?) qualitative titativeresearchers postpositivists) have now reached basic (i. and decidingwhat findings are practically significant. to We with qualitativeresearchers value stancesare often that agree neededin research. for example. 2003).g.. orworse(thisis a casewheresubandobjective realities meetandclash).normative).Along theselines.we agreethat the futuremaynot reresearch. hypothesis embedded in a holisticnetworkof beliefs..(d) the Duhem(i. researchers embeddedin communitiesand they clearly haveand areaffectedby theirattitudes.e.e. negative ternal audits) to help overcome this potential problem and and research.WilliamJames. a perfect and direct window into "reality").the conduct of andvalue-free research a myth. instead(at this time). Mixed methodsresearch should. Without public inspection and ade- researchers quanand Fortunately. "often remain privateand unavailablefor public inspection" (Constas.. on severalmajorpoints of earlierphilosophical disagreement & Burbules. it is possiblefor morethan one theoryto fit a singleset of empiricaldata).(e) the problemof induction(i.at some point. and values. as in subjective reality realityor in manycasesintersubjecto tive reality) directthe reader the focusof the statement. triangulation. agreement (e.e.g.and John Dewey) as a to dualismsthat way for researchers think about the traditional have been debatedby the purists.it also is importantthat research morethansimplyone researcher's highlyidiosyncratic opinions writteninto a report. researcher insistson usingthe 2000). are manystrategies recognized andregularly in qualitative research used check(suchasmember casesampling.Generally states(i. Pragmatism as the Philosophical Partner for Mixed Methods Research We do not aim to solvethe metaphysical. Reichardt Cook.Obviously.we advocate consideration of the pragmaticmethod of the classical pragmatists(e. proaches a strongrelativism strongconstructivism or runsinto problems. 1992. quality(when anyone'sopinion about qualityis just as good as the next peror son's.observation not knowledge.selectingalphalevels(e..And we do not believethat mixed is in methodsresearch currently a positionto provide perfectsolutions. .g..e. 1994). and qualitativemethodsof analyses (Onwuegbuzie. theirdifferent apperspectives) a respect democratic to groupopinion and valueselection.. and that valuesaffectwhat we choose to inwhatwe see... Phillips 1979.then for claritywe would recommendthatthe wordsubjective placedin frontof the word be (i.g.g. 1907 original] value") an expression has or is base" "qualitative research su(e. Pragmatism knowledge(Maxcy. and differences logical(e. Reichardt& Rallis. crespeaking. makingscoreinterpreconclusions and tations. can regulatory also researchers arenot immunefromconstructive Qualitative criticism... If a qualitative word realityfor subjective states. what we notice and observeis affectedby our background in is and theories.e. underdeter(c) minationof theoryby evidence(i.patternmatching..subjective ated and experienced realities)that varyfrom personto person and that are sometimes called "realities" should probablybe called(forthe purposes clarityandgreater of precision) multiple or or perspectives opinions beliefi(dependingon the specificphenomenonbeingdescribed) rather thanmultiplerealities (Phillips & Burbules.05). and how we interpret whatwe see). or defensible? trustworthy 16I EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER canapplythissensibleeffects-or outcome-oriented through rule aboutwhatwill happenif you do X).specifictestsand itemsfor measurement... One how is one to decidewhetherwhatis claimedis quatestandards.e. "light peror of sons).The strong directly jective or claim in qualitativererelativistic constructivist ontological search thatmultiple. 1990). p. experiences. or which is logicallyself-refuting (in its strongform)hindersthe deand for standards judgingresearch velopmentand use of systematic it comes to research it is not the casethat quality.(b)theory-laden perception the theory-ladenness facts (i. empirical semblethe past).becausesome peoplehaveno trainingor expertise even in interest research). & 2000.and alternative will explanations continueto exist). Some qualitativepurists (e.e. importantresearch Thepragmatic or maximor method rule statesthatthe current or instrumental provisional or truthvalue(which James meaning would term"cash of [1995. methodological betweenthe puristpositions. ple soft relativism simply refersto a respectand interestin underand depictingindividualand social groupdifferences standing for and (i. respecting opinionsand viewsof differentpeothe and differentgroups). short.(f) the socialnatureof the research enterprise are (i. 254). CharlesSandersPeirce.g.g.Again.e.it is not a matterof opinion (or individualreality) that one shouldor can driveon the left-handside of the roadin GreatBritain-if one choosesto driveon the rightside. 1990) openly admitthattheyadoptan unqualified strongrelativism.however.
conceivethe objectof ourconceptionto have.Dewey) oped by pragmatists been refinedin newerdirectionsby latter-day neo-pragmatists (e. makesuse of the pragmatic mixedresearch method and system of philosophy.pragmatism takesan explicitlyvalue-oriented to approach research. as Although we endorsepragmatism a philosophy that can to build bridgesbetweenconflictingphilosophies.Then our conceptionof theseeffectsis the whole of our conceptionof the object"(this quote is found at the end of SectionII in How toMakeOurIdeasClear). andempirical to helpin consequences aminingpractical findings the understanding import of philosophicalpositions and. and complementary.Philosophically. otherwords.Dewey (1948.e. it rejects dogmatism).. and abduction (uncoveringand relying on the bestof a set of explanations understanding for one'sresults) (e.not very meaningful. Rescher. Rescher. It is inclusive.We areadvocating or needs-based contingencyapproachto research method and conceptselection.and attempting eliminateor reduce to In mental. 1990. increasing their knowledge).. and it suggests that researcherstake an eclectic ap- answermanyof theirresearch inclined questions. in othersituations quantitative the will approach be moreapproIn many situations. In short.g. Davidson. sequences"(p.. not a limiting form of research. Extendingthe works of Peirceand James. when (p.. the Experimental statedthat"inorderto discover meaningof the idea the original) [we must] ask for its consequences" 132). for practicalpurposes. basedon our practices. importantly.In Table2 we presentsomeof these. 1997. educatingchildren techniques and adults(i.we believeit is clearthat both qualitative and and quantitative research havemanybenefitsand manycosts.Putnam) (see Menand. debateswill not end as a resultof pragmatism.and otherdisabilities.Its logic of inquiryincludesthe use of induction (or discoveryof patterns).e. 2000).and it offersa method for selecting methodological mixes that can help researchersbetter some agreementabout the importanceof many (culturally devaluesand desiredends. further to action and the eliminationof doubt. Murphy. 1920 (e. Buildingon Peirce's method is primarily 1907 original)arguedthat "Thepragmatic a methodof settlingmetaphysical disputesthat otherwise might be interminable.Pragmatically andresearchers wouldsuggestthatwe canreach also philosophers proachto methodselectionand the thinkingaboutand conduct of research. and Mixed Methods Research Mixedmethods research formally is definedhereas the class reof the search where researcher orcombines mixes andqualquantitative itative or research methods. judging ideaswe should considertheir empiricaland practical in Peirce.g. reducingthe useof illicit drugsby childrenandadolescents. concepts language techniques. de Waal.. Dewey spent his careerapplyingpragmatic principlesin develhis philosophyand in the practiceof educatingchildren oping Schoolof Chicago). monism versusdualism). is Whatis most fundamental the research questionresearch methodsshouldfollowresearch questionsin a way that OCTOBER 2004 |I . intoa single it wave"or third study.. findingeffectiveteaching for differentkinds of students.learning. James. like all currentphilosophies. Philosophically.has some shortcomings. lead. Quantitative. It is an expansive and creative form of research.a movementthat movespast the paradigm warsby offering logicalandpractical a alternative. of inquirythatis basedon actionandleads.e.for example.iteratively. James. Mixed methods research also is an attempt to legitimate the use of multiple approachesin answeringresearchquestions. approaches..researchers put togetherinsights can priate.g. frombothapproaches produce superior a andprocedures to proda moreworkable uct (i. Rorty.deduction (testing of theories and hypotheses).helping to reduce in discrimination society.preventing rived) the droppingout of schoolby adolescents.. rather than restricting or constraining researchers'choices (i.e.We suspect that some philosophical differences may lead to importantpractical while many othersmay not.which alsoneed to be addressed philosophically clinedmethodologists theyworkon the projectof developing as a fullyworkingphilosophyfor mixedmethodsresearch.2000.g. ideas.beliefs)impliesthatwe should "considerwhat effects. what we we believeareclassical mostgeneral important and pragmatism's characteristics. In the wordsof Charles Sanders Peirce(1878).7The full sets of beconsequences liefscharacterizing qualitative quantitative the and or approaches haveresulted different in and. is the "third research movement. 2001).In somesituations qualitative the will approach be moreappropriate. phenomena). Philosophical and certainlythey shouldnot end. either/orapproach paradigm to a selectionand we recommend morepluralistic compatibilist or method or maxim (i. The pragmatic method in such casesis to eachnotionby tracing respective its contryto interpret practical 18).calexperiences whathappens yourexperience in when (observing do X). haveoutlined. or experiments or informally a rule you (formally trying the or and observing consequences outcomes).in Table 1.andDeweywereallinterested exconsequences. for example. If two ontologicalpositions about the mind/body problem (e.Beyond the basicpragmatic in as translated mixed methodsresearch "choosethe combination or mixtureof methodsand procedures worksbest for that researchquestions")there also is a full philoansweringyour which was systematically develsophicalsystemof pragmatism the classical and has (Peirce. the pragmatic method or maxim (which is used to determinethe meaningof statements. To providethe of reader with a betterunderstanding the fullphilosophyof pragmatism(for consideration). Nonetheless.we agreewith othersin the mixedmethodsresearch movementthat consideration and discussionof pragmatism research by methodologists researchers be productive and empirical will becauseit offersan and immediate usefulmiddlepositionphilosophically methand it offersa practical outcome-oriented and method odologically.to help in decidingwhich action to take next as one real-world attemptsto betterunderstand phenomena(including social. oftenmixedmethodsresearch provides a solutionand produces superior a product)..Researchers areinterested who in applying in theirworksshouldconsiderthe shortpragmatism inby comings.and educational psychological..do not makea differencein how we conductour research then the distinctionis. approach. Practicshould be reflexive strategicin avoidingthe and ing researchers in of potentialconsequences theseweaknesses theirworks.James(1995. paradigms observation study. We rejectan incompatibilist.. that might conceivablyhave practical we bearings. Comparing Qualitative.concepts. words. such as. pluralistic.Rorty. help pragmatism.
what solves problems." and. observation. and methods in such a way that the resulting mixture or combination is likely to result in complementary strengths and nonoverlapping weaknesses (also see Brewer & Hunter. theory/ hypothesis generation. * Endorses eclecticism and pluralism (e. * Rejects traditional dualisms (e. exploration. What we obtain on a daily basis in research should be viewed as provisional truths. new inquiry.e. freedom. free will vs. theories and perspectives can be useful. Takes an explicitly value-oriented approach to research that is derived from cultural values. approaches. what we do in our day-to-day lives as we interact with our environments) is viewed as being analogous to experimental and scientific inquiry. certain. Endorses practical theory (theory that informs effective practice.Table 1 General Characteristics of Pragmatism * The project of pragmatism has been to find a middle ground between philosophical dogmatisms and skepticism and to find a workable solution (sometimes including outright rejection) to many longstanding philosophical dualisms about which agreement has not been historically forthcoming. According to this principle.g. pp. confirmation. viewed as perfect. absolute Truth)is what will be the "final opinion" perhaps at the end of history. subjectivism vs. in a sense.. the researcheras the primary"instrument" of data collection. use of this "scientific" or evolutionary or practical epistemology moves us toward larger Truths. prediction. and progress. inquiry provides the best answers we can currently muster). Our thinking follows a dynamic homeostatic process of belief. For example. some estimates are more true than others). "reasoningshould not form a chain which is no strongerthan its weakest link. * Replaces the historicallypopular epistemic distinction between subject and external object with the naturalistic and processoriented organism-environment transaction. explanation. Endorses a strong and practical empiricism as the path to determine what works. * Knowledge is viewed as being both constructed and based on the reality of the world we experience and live in. therefore. equality. and statistical analysis (see Table 3 for a more complete list). The present is always a new starting point. determinism. * Recognizes the existence and importance of the natural or physical world as well as the emergent social and psychological world that includes language. the instrumental and provisional truths that we obtain and live by in the meantime) are given through experience and experimenting. provided they are sufficiently numerous and intimatelyconnected" (1868.g. Offers the "pragmatic method" for solving traditional philosophical dualisms as well as for making methodological choices. . Instrumentaltruth is not "stagnant.. or absolute). values. * Places high regard for the reality of and influence of the inner world of human experience in action. objectivism) and generally prefersmore moderate and commonsense versions of philosophical dualisms based on how well they work in solving problems. but. 1997. new doubt. even conflicting. modified belief. and knowledge as tentative and as changing over time. different. in Menand. adding qualitative interviews to experiments as a manipulation check and perhaps as a way to discuss directly the issues under investigation and tap into participants' perspectives .g. We obtain warranted evidence that provides us with answers that are ultimately tentative (i. In order to mix researchin an effective manner. . Effective use of this principle is a major source of justification for mixed methods researchbecause the product will be superior to monomethod studies. and what helps us to survive. workability is judged especially on the criteria of predictability and applicability). facts vs. if ever. * Theories are viewed instrumentally (they become true and they are true to different degrees based on how well they currently work. * * * * * * * * * * offers the best chance to obtain useful answers.." Prefersaction to philosophizing (pragmatism is. meaning. but a cable whose fibers may be ever so slender. empiricism.. culture. * Endorses fallibilism (current beliefs and research conclusions are rarely. doubt. specifically endorses shared values such as democracy. Instrumentaltruthsare a matterof degree (i. where the person or researcher (and research community) constantly tries to improve upon past understandings in a way that fits and works in the world in which he or she operates. researchersshould collect multiple data using different strategies. experience. 5-6). standardized data collection.thoughts. in the long run. and experiments are all useful ways to gain an understanding of people and the world). researchers first need to consider all of the relevant characteristicsof quantitative and qualitative research. . 1989).e. antirealism.. reducing culture. Organisms are constantly adapting to new situations and environments. RESEARCHER I| EDUCATIONAL Gaining an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative and qualitative researchputs a researcherin a position to mix or combine strategies and to use what Johnson and Turner (2003) call the fundamental principle of mixed research.e. reality." * According to Peirce. Generally rejects reductionism(e. rationalism vs.e. and subjective thoughts... Views current truth. Many research questions and combinations of questions are best and most fully answered through mixed researchsolutions. inquiry. Platonic appearance vs. We all try out things to see what works. realism vs. and beliefs to nothing more than neurobiological processes).e. the major characteristicsof traditional quantitative researchare a focus on deduction. praxis).. Capital "T"Truth(i. and qualitative analysis (see Table 4 for a more complete list). James (1995: 1907) states that we must "be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood. human institutions.For example.in an infinite loop. discovery. an anti-philosophy). * Justification comes in the form of what Dewey called "warranted assertability. The major characteristics of traditional qualitative researchare induction. theory/hypothesis testing. * Human inquiry (i. Lowercase "t"truths (i.
collecting the data. * Testing hypotheses that are constructed before the data are collected. * Pragmatic theories of truth have difficulty dealing with the cases of useful but non-true beliefs or propositions and nonuseful but true beliefs or propositions. Table 3 and Weaknesses of Quantitative Strengths Research Strengths * Testing and validating already constructed theories about how (and to a lesser degree.. * Can generalize a research finding when it has been replicated on many different populations and subpopulations. 1998).or revolutionary change in society. * What is meant by usefulness or workability can be vague unless explicitly addressed by a researcher. Can generalize research findings when the data are based on random samples of sufficient size. as well as severaldimensions which one should consider when planning to conduct a mixed researchstudy.g. * Many come to pragmatism looking for a way to get around many traditional philosophical and ethical disputes (this includes the developers of pragmatism). Patton. and meanings will help avoid some potential problems with the experimental method. 1991. 1994. 1998. 1990. then one can use the tables as an aid to help in deciding on the combination of complementary strengths and nonoverlapping weaknesses that is appropriate for a particular study. allowing one to more credibly assess cause-and-effect relationships. For example. why) phenomena occur. numerical data. * Provides precise.politicians. effect size. As another example. Morse. Our mixed-method designs (discussed below) are based on the crossing of paradigm emphasis and time ordering of the quantitative and qualitative phases. and Tashakkori & Teddlie. contexts. and individuals. * It may have higher credibility with many people in power (e. Although pragmatism has worked moderately well. 2004. According to Morgan (1998) and Morse (1991). Table 5 shows some of the strengths and weaknesses of mixed methods research. * It is useful for studying large numbers of people. Both of these examples could be improved (if the researchquestions can be studied this way) by adding a component that surveys a randomly selected sample from the population of interest to improve generalizability. Development of a Mixed Methods Research Typology Our mixed methods research typologies (mixed-model designs and mixed-method designs) resulted from our consideration of many other typologies (especiallyCreswell.g. Time ordering of the qualitative and quantitative phases is another important dimension. see mixedmodel designs in Johnson & Christensen. and the phases can be carriedout sequentially or concurrently. Another dimension for viewing mixed methods reOCTOBER 2004 I|E . one can consider a single study as having three stages:stating the research objective. in a qualitative research study the researchermight want to qualitatively observe and interview.g. * The research results are relatively independent of the researcher (e. If findings are corroborated across different approaches then greater confidence can be held in the singular conclusion. * The researcher may miss out on phenomena occurring because of the focus on theory or hypothesis testing rather than on theory or hypothesis generation (called the confirmation bias). people who fund programs). * Useful for obtaining data that allow quantitative predictions to be made. * The researcher's theories that are used may not reflect local constituencies' understandings. when put under the microscope.. * Some neo-pragmatistssuch as Rorty(and postmodernists)completely reject correspondence truthin any form. Weaknesses * The researcher's categories that are used may not reflect local constituencies' understandings. statistical significance). one can decide whether mixed researchoffers the best potential for an answer.In many cases the goal of mixing is not to search for corroboration but ratherto expand one's understanding (Onwuegbuzie & Leech. but supplement this with a closed-ended instrument to systematically measure certain factors considered important in the relevant researchliterature. * Researchers from a transformative-emancipatory framework have suggested that pragmatic researchers sometimes fail to provide a satisfactory answer to the question "Forwhom is a pragmatic solution useful?"(Mertens. if the has findings conflict then the researcher greaterknowledge and can modify interpretationsand conclusions accordingly. 2003). After determining one's research question(s). Tables 3 and 4 are specifically designed to aid in the construction of a combination of qualitative and quantitative research. * Data collection using some quantitative methods is relatively quick (e. and analyzing/interpreting the data. 1998). structural. administrators. if this is the case. quantitative. Tashakkori & Teddlie. * Pragmatismmay promote incremental change ratherthan more fundamental.. 2004b). * Data analysis is relatively less time consuming (using statistical software). * Knowledge produced may be too abstract and general for direct application to specific local situations. it has been noted that one can construct mixed-model designs by mixing qualitative and quantitative approaches within and across the stages of research (in a simplified view. one also may consider the dimension of paradigm emphasis (deciding whether to give the quantitative and qualitative components of a mixed study equal status or to give one paradigm the dominant status). many current philosophers have rejected pragmatism because of its logical (as contrasted with practical) failing as a solution to many philosophical disputes. * The researcher may construct a situation that eliminates the confounding influence of many variables. which should aid in the decision to use or not use a mixed methods researchapproach for a given research study. which troubles many philosophers. telephone interviews). Morgan.Table 2 Some Weaknesses of Pragmatism * Basic research may receive less attention than applied research because applied research may appear to produce more immediate and practical results.
depending on the conditions and information that is obtained. search is the degree of mixture.. * Qualitative data in the words and categories of participants lend themselves to exploring how and why phenomena occur. * Provides understanding and description of people's personal experiences of phenomena (i. one can develop a mixed-method design that has more stages (e. * It is useful for describing complex phenomena. the findings must be mixed or integrated at some point (e. * Provides individual case information. in the objective[s]. 1991) is explained at the bottom of i2| RESEARCHER EDUCATIONAL the table.. and stakeholders' needs. Ultimately. * It is more difficult to test hypotheses and theories.g. * One can use an important case to demonstrate vividly a phenomenon to the readers of a report. and (b) whether one wants to conduct the phases concurrently or sequentially.g. * Qualitative approaches are responsive to local situations. which would form a continuum from monomethod to fully mixed methods. These six designs are called across-stagemixed-model designs because the mixing takes place across the stages of the researchprocess. mixed-method designs are similar to conducting a quantitative mini-study and a qualitative mini-study in one overall researchstudy.. Qual -> QUAN -> Qual).e.e..e. * Qualitative researchersare responsive to changes that occur during the conduct of a study (especially during extended fieldwork) and may shift the focus of their studies as a result. * Data analysis is often time consuming.8'9 It also stands in stark contrast to the approach where one completely follows either the qualitative paradigm or the quantitative paradigm. or if the quantitative and qualitative phases are undertaken concurrently the findings must.. * Can determine how participants interpret"constructs"(e. during data analysis.. * Can describe. Yet another important dimension is whether one wants to take a critical theory/ transformative-emancipatory (Mertens. conditions. this stands in contrast to the common approach in traditional quantitative research where students are given a menu of designs from which to select. * Determine idiographic causation (i.e. Furthermore. It is important to understand that one can easily createmore userspecificand morecomplexdesignsthan the ones shown in Figures 1 and 2. the possible number of ways that studies can involve mixing is very large because of the many potential classification dimensions. in rich detail. determination of causes of a particularevent). The point is for the researcherto be creative and not be limited by the designs listed in this article. 2003) approach or a less explicitly ideological approach to a study.Table 4 and Weaknesses of Qualitative Research Strengths Strengths * The data are based on the participants' own categories of meaning. In contrast to mixed-model designs. be integrated during the interpretation of the findings). a qualitative phase might be conducted to inform a quantitative phase. * The researcher can study dynamic processes (i. IQ). Nine mixed-method designs are provided in Figure 2.. findings may be unique to the relatively few people included in the research study). Six mixed-model designs are shown in Figure 1 (see Designs 2 through 7). the researcher must make two primary decisions: (a) whether one wants to operate largely within one dominant paradigm or not. * The researcher can use the primarilyqualitative method of "grounded theory" to generate inductively a tentative but explanatory theory about a phenomenon. data interpretation).. phenomena as they are situated and embedded in local contexts. * It is useful for studying a limited number of cases in depth. * The researcher identifies contextual and setting factors as they relate to the phenomenon of interest. * Can conduct cross-case comparisons and analysis. * The results are more easily influenced by the researcher's personal biases and idiosyncrasies. . to be considered a mixed-method design. The notation used (based on Morse. A tenet of mixed methods research is that researchers should mindfully create designs that effectively answer their researchquestions. sequentially.g. methods of data collection. An example of a within-stage mixed-modeldesignwould be the use of a questionnaire that includes a summated rating scale (quantitative data collection) and one or more open-ended questions (qualitative data collection). * It may have lower credibility with some administratorsand commissioners of programs. * Data are usually collected in naturalistic settings in qualitative research. It is a key point that mixed methods research truly opens up an exciting and almost unlimited potential for future research. Another dimension pertains to where mixing should occur (e. one also can design a study that includes both mixed-model and mixed-method design features. For example. Toward a Parsimonious Typology of Mixed Research Methods The majority of mixed methods research designs can be developed from the two major types of mixed methods research: mixed-model (mixing qualitative and quantitative approaches within or across the stages of the research process) and mixedmethod (the inclusion of a quantitative phase and a qualitative phase in an overall research study). self-esteem. research methods.g. * It generally takes more time to collect the data when compared to quantitative research. the "emic"or insider's viewpoint). sometimes a design may emerge during a study in new ways. at a minimum. documenting sequential patterns and change). * It is difficult to make quantitative predictions. Nonetheless. To construct a mixed-method design. Weaknesses * Knowledge produced may not generalize to other people or other settings (i.
A Mixed Methods Research Process Model Our mixed methods researchprocess model comprises eight distinct steps: (1) determine the research question. pictures. 3. and 7. (1989). * More expensive. 6. data analysis (Step 5). how to interpretconflicting results). * Methodological puristscontend that one should always work within either a qualitative or a quantitative paradigm. (5) analyze the data. (2) determine whether a mixed design is appropriate. Recursion can take place within a single study (especiallyan extended study). see strengths listed in Tables 3 and 4).and interactional process. and legitimation (Step 7). As noted by Greene et al. 4... (4) collect the data.g. the Stage 1 results can be used to develop and inform the purpose and design of the Stage 2 component). and narrative.e. in a two-stage sequential design. * Can provide stronger evidence for a conclusion through convergence and corroboration of findings. the rest of the steps can vary in order (i. 2004 OCTOBER |I . (3) select the mixedmethod or mixed-model research design. recursive. Weaknesses * Can be difficult for a single researcher to carry out both qualitative and quantitative research.10 FIGURE 1.The mixed-model designsareDesigns2. * Can provide quantitative and qualitative research strengths (i. and (8) draw conclusions (if warranted) and write the final report. * More time consuming. (6) interpret the data. how to qualitativelyanalyze quantitativedata. recursion can also take place across related studies by informing future research and leading to new or reformulated research purposes and questions. * Qualitative and quantitative research used together produce more complete knowledge necessary to inform theory and practice.. 5. * A researcher can use the strengths of an additional method to overcome the weaknesses in another method by using both in a research study. it may require a research team. * The specific mixed research designs discussed in this article have specific strengths and weaknesses that should be considered (e. there are five major purposes or rationalesfor conducting QualitativeResearch Objective(s) Research Quantitative Objective(s) Collect qualitative data / Collect quantitative data Collect qualitative data Collect quantitative data Perform Perform qualitative quantitative analysis analysis 1 2 Perform Perform qualitative quantitative analysis analysis 3 4 Perform Perform Perform Perform qualitative quantitative qualitative quantitative analysis analysis analysis analysis 5 6 7 8 Designs Note. Although mixed research starts with a purpose and one or more researchquestions. and narrativecan be used to add meaning to numbers. These steps are displayed in Figure 3. especially purpose (Step 2).g.. and even the question and/or pur- pose can be revised when needed. Designs 1 and 8 on the outeredgesarethe monomethoddesigns. * Researcher has to learn about multiple methods and approaches and understand how to mix them appropriately.Table 5 and Weaknesses of Mixed Research Strengths Strengths * Words. pictures. * Numbers can be used to add precision to words.e. * Can add insights and understanding that might be missed when only a single method is used. * Can be used to increase the generalizability of the results. * Can answer a broader and more complete range of research questions because the researcher is not confined to a single method or approach. Monomethod and mixed-modeldesigns. Figure 3 shows several arrows leading from later steps to earlier steps indicating that mixed research involves a cyclical. * Some of the details of mixed research remain to be worked out fully by research methodologists (e. especially if two or more approaches are expected to be used concurrently. (7) legitimate the data. * Researcher can generate and test a grounded theory. Three steps in the mixed methods research process warrant some further discussion. they are not necessarily linear or unidirectional). problems of paradigm mixing.
clusteranalysis).e. pictoriallythe qualitative and and charts. 2004.e. memoing)and quantitative factor analysis. which contains29 elementsof legitimationfor the qualitative at componentof the mixedmethodsresearch the datacollection.. datainterpretation of the study) and the QualitativeLegitimationModel stages (Onwuegbuzie. sevendataanalysis stagesareasfollows:(a)data reduction. respectively. qualitized.e.(c) datatransformation. with involves quantitative beingcorrelated the the correlation data with the dataor the qualitative databeing correlated qualitized wherein data. dethe findings from one method to help velopment (i..e.. The next stage.quan qual . "->" stands for sequential. tables. "+" stands for concurrent.g.. into numerical dataareconverted codes that can be represented Tashakkori Teddlie. 1998) and/orqualitative & (i.g. "qual" stands for qualitative. and dataanalysis.(b) complementarity and illustration.Data display. which accepts that quantitative. Venn diagrams) data(e.QUAN QUAN -) qual quan -) QUAL Note. capital letters denote high priority or weight.g. datacomparison.and (e) expansion(i. whichcontains50 sources invaof the mixedmethodsrefor the quantitative lidity component at and search the datacollection.(e) dataconsolidation. using informthe othermethod)... statistically quantitized. clarifienhancement. datacor(d) and relation. matrices. Data & (i. fromthe other cationof the results fromone methodwith results and method).data comor parison involves comparing data from the qualitative and quanRESEARCHER 2|1 EDUCATIONAL Data integration characterizes finalstage.g. Onwuegbuzie. (g) data (f) Data reduction the involvesreducing dimensionality integration.e.(c) initiation (i. via descriptive statistics. qualitative of and quantitative) coherentwholes. mixed methodsresearch: triangulation (i. thematicanalysis.lists..e. researchers! is now time that It ologistscatchup with practicing the allresearchers research and formally methodologists recognize and beginsystematically aboutit thirdresearch writing paradigm for and using it.e. via exploratory data (e.graphs).This is followedby dataconsolidation. are cirunder and qualitative. both quantitativeand qualitativedata are integrated whereby sets into eithera coherentwhole or two separate (i.and/or data interpretation as rivalexplanations possiblehavebeen reducedor eliminated. datainterpretation stagesof the study)can be and used to assessthe legitimacyof the qualitative quantitative We phasesof the study.Accordingto the theseauthors. mixedresearch all superior different . & Bostick. the titativedatasources. (i. The mixed methods researchprocess model incorporates conceptualizaOnwuegbuzieand Teddlie's(2003) seven-stage tion of the mixed methods data analysisprocess..whereinquantitative into data areconverted narrative thatcanbe analyzed qualitatively Tashakkori Teddlie.2000. In generalwe recommendcontingency theory researchapproachselection. the of The legitimation involvesassessing trustworthiness step and data interboth the qualitative quantitative and subsequent such as the QuantitativeLegitimation pretations. and lower case letters denote lower priority or weight.graphs.inexploratory volvesdescribing data (e.dataanalysis. The Future of Mixed Methods Research in Education has beMixedresearch actually a longhistoryin research practice what is writtenby causepracticing researchers frequently ignore will when they feel a mixedapproach best help methodologists It is time thatmethodthem to answertheirresearch questions. quantitized new and bothquantitative qualitative arecombinedto create data or consolidated variables datasets.e. "quan" stands for quantitative.Time Order Decision Concurrent Sequential QUAL + QUAN Equal Status Paradigm Emphasis Decision Dominant Status QUAN + qual QUAL -. Mixed-method designs design in thefourcells.1998). rubrics. of the qualitativedata (e. seekingconver(a) and corroboration resultsfrom differentmethodsand of gence designsstudyingthe same phenomenon). havebegunworkingon a for validityor legitimationtypologyspecifically mixedresearch in Onwuegbuzieand Johnson (2004). discovering paradoxes contradictionsthatleadto a re-framing the research of (d) question)." shown matrixwith mixed-method research FIGURE2. data analysis. 2003.QUAN QUAN QUAL QUAL + quan QUAL ...(b) datadisplay.. seekingto exmethand by pandthe breadth rangeof research usingdifferent ods for different inquirycomponents). It is importantto note datacolthat the legitimationprocessmight includeadditional until as many lection.Frameworks of Model (Onwuegbuzie..This is followed(optionquantitative data ally) by the data transformation stage. seekingelaboration.Jiao.networks.
Most importantly. task and cumstances it is the researcher's to examinethe specific and make the decisionaboutwhich research apcontingencies shouldbe used in proach. of we a specific study. biasesaboutwhich research shouldhavehegemonyin paradigm 2004 | OCTOBER .as well as in our sisterdisciplinesin the social and behavioral sciences. Also.as the thirdmajorresearch paradigm..investigatorswho conductmixedmethodsresearch morelikelyto seare lect methods and approaches with respectto their underlying research rather thanwith regard somepreconceived to questions.In thisarticle haveoutlinedthe philosophy and mixedresearch provided we havedescribed spepragmatism. rectangles steps(1-8) in the mixedresearch FIGURE 3. Mixed research processmodel. and cific mixed-model mixed-method designs. growthin the mixed and movementhasthe potentialto reduce methods(i. process. methodsprocessmodelto help readers is we havemadethe casethatmixedmethodsresearch here hope in to stayand that it shouldbe widely recognized education. components. pragmatist) with singularmethods. Circlesrepresent represent stepsin the mixeddataanalysis process.and we havedisof and cussedthe fundamental principle mixedresearch provided research and and tablesof quantitative qualitative strengths weaka nessesto helpapplythe principle. mixed methods research can incorporate the strengthsof both methodologies. As noted by Sechrest Sidana(1995).e.By utisome of the problemsassociated and qualitativetechniqueswithin the same lizing quantitative framework.or which combinationof approaches.IF diamondsrepresent Note.we haveprovided mixed We the visualize process.
. Advanced mixed methods research design. On Peirce. R. M. aesthetic beliefs. CA: Sage. J.mixed methods researchhas a great potential to promote a shared responsibility in the quest for attaining accountability for educational quality. and more clearly paradigmatic. Teddlie (Eds. K. both qualitative and quantitative philosophies continue to be highly useful (i. American Educational Research Journal. 2 Campbell modified his view of qualitative research over time. 11In developing Figure 2. Pragmatismand educational research. D. he made this change as part of his endorsement of case study research as an important research approach (e. For example. REFERENCES Ayer. The term is more of a straw man (easily knocked down) for attack than standing for any actual practicing researchers. 5. the root of the word science is the Latin scientia. Biesta. (1988). C. 2003). Campbell. and mixed methods research. V.). (1990). . Campbell changed this design name to the one-group posttest-only design. 11. 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Watson.pace. FL 33620-7750. qualitative. CA: Sage. Yin. EDU 162.g. His areasof specialization are disadvantaged and under-served populations (e. His area of specialization is research methodology. C.com. 2003 Manuscript Revisionsreceived March I and April30. 73(3). ONWUEGBUZIEis an AssociateProfessor. BSET. 2004 from http://www. (1990).html. minorities and juvenile delinquents) and methodological topics in the areas of quantitative. Case study research:Design and methods. W. received October 14.Research Methods Forum [On-line]. Types of pluralism. 2004 Justoffthepress! "TeachersMatter:Evidence From Value-AddedAssessments" Points. tonyonwuegbuzie@aol. ANTHONY J.edu/rmd/ 2002forum.edu.Department of Educational Measurement and Research.. Thousand Oaks. University of South Florida. Tampa.net 2| EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER . K.aom. BURKEJOHNSON is a Professor. College of Education. and mixed methods. Misconceived relationshipsbetween logicalpositivism and quantitative research. (2003). The Monist.University of South Alabama. H. AL 36688.aera. AUTHORS R. 2004 Accepted May 12. Yu. 350-367. bjohnson@ usouthal. Mobile. R. 4202 East Fowler Avenue. 3700 UCOM. Retrieved September 2. (1984).Summer2004) (Research Readit at www.
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