The Nature of Research Methodologies: Terms and Usage within Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods

The Nature of Research Methodologies: Terms and Usage within Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods

Ben Tran (Alliant International University, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0007-0.ch001
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Abstract

Mixed methods research is, generally speaking, an approach to knowledge (theory to practice) that attempts to consider multiple viewpoints, perspectives, positions, and standpoints. As such, before the advent of mixed methods, many studies used multiple methods to achieve the benefits of triangulation without restricting themselves to any paradigmatic membership or methodological category. Today, the primary philosophy of mixed research is that of pragmatism. This chapter will cover the history and the foundation of research methodologies and explain the purpose of research within various methodologies. This chapter will also explain the various terminologies used within research and research design as well as the meaning of these terminologies. This chapter will not cover statistics, however, mixed methods, methodology, research, and paradigm, statistical research methodology will be touched upon.
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Brief History Of Research Methodologies

Before the advent of mixed methods, many studies used multiple methods to achieve the benefits of triangulation (Galton & Wilcocks, 1983) without restricting themselves to any paradigmatic membership or methodological category (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003a). However, there was still awareness of the difficulties present in producing results based on multiple data types. Thus, during the last 50 years, writers have used different names, making it difficult to locate articles that might relate to mixed methods research. Mixed methods has been called multitrait/multimethod research (Campbell & Fiske, 1959), which recognizes the collection of several quantitative methods in a single investigation; integrated or combined, in the sense that two forms of data are blended together (Jason & Onwuegbuzie, 2004, p. 17; Steckler, McLeroy, Goodman, Bird, & McCormick, 1992); and quantitative and qualitative methods (Fielding & Fielding, 1986), which acknowledges that the approach is actually a combination of methods. It has been called hybrids (Ragin, Nagel, & White, 2004); methodological triangulation (Morse, 1991a), which recognizes the convergence of quantitative and qualitative data; combined research (Creswell, 1994); and mixed methodology, which acknowledges that it is both a method and a philosophical worldview (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998). It has also been called the third methodological movement following the developments of first quantitative research and then qualitative research (Tashakkori &Teddlie, 2002, p. 5), the third research paradigm (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004, p. 15), and a new star in social science sky (Mayring, 2007, p. 1).

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