Revisiting the Quantitative-Qualitative Debate: Implications for Mixed-Methods Research
Introduction From the Individual Interview to the Interview Society - Jaber F Gubrium and Revisiting the Relationship Between Participant Observation and . Revisiting the Relationship Between Participant Observation and Interviewing. View in Source. Cite this paper. Sign in and Save the paper in Collection. Save. published in the Handbook of Interview Research from by the same editors, as has “Revisiting the relationships between participants observation and.
Within the qualitative paradigm, one may compare the results of a phenomenological study to those of a grounded theory study on how nurses cope with the deaths of their patients. These two types of qualitative studies do not assume that external referents for coping skills exist independent of our minds. Cross validation refers to combining the two approaches to study the same phenomenon. Ironically, in a comprehensive review of mixed-method evaluation studies, Greene and Caracelli found that methodological triangulation was actually quite rare in mixed-method research, used by only 3 of 57 studies.
Combining the two approaches in a complementary fashion is also not advisable if the ultimate goal is to study different aspects of the same phenomenon because, as we argue, mixed-methods research cannot claim to enrich the same phenomenon under study. The phenomenon under study is not the same across methods.
Not only does cross-validation and complementarity in the above context violate paradigmatic assumptions, but it also misrepresents data. Loss of information is a particular risk when attempts are made to unite results from the two paradigms because it often promotes the selective search for similarities in data. Further Considerations in Mixed-Method Research Designs The most frequently used mixed-method designs start with a qualitative pilot study followed by quantitative research Morgan, In response, qualitative researchers have increasingly tried to defend their work using quantitative criteria, such as validity and reliability, as defined in quantitative studies.
They also increasingly use computer programs specifically designed for analysing qualitative data, such as NUD. IST or Ethnograph, in quantitative counting ways. These practices seriously violate the assumptions of the qualitative paradigm s. For research to be valid or reliable in the narrow quantitative sense requires that what is studied be independent of the inquirer and be described without distortion by her interests, values, or purposes Smith and Heshusius, This is not how qualitative studies unfold.
Therefore, it is more appropriate for qualitative researchers to apply parallel but distinct canons of rigor appropriate to qualitative studies Strauss and Corbin, It is difficult to say whether the growing trend of quantifying qualitative research is a direct result of mixing quantitative and qualitative approaches. In our opinion, mixing research methods across paradigms, as is currently practiced, often diminishes the value of both methods.
This pressure will no doubt continue to escalate as combined methods research becomes more common. Our Solution The key issues in the quantitative-qualitative debate are ontological and epistemological. Quantitative researchers perceive truth as something which describes an objective reality, separate from the observer and waiting to be discovered.
Because quantitative and qualitative methods represent two different paradigms, they are incommensurate. Fundamental to this viewpoint is that qualitative and quantitative researchers do not, in fact, study the same phenomena.
We propose a solution to mixed-method research and the quantitative-qualitative debate. Qualitative and quantitative research methods have grown out of, and still represent, different paradigms.
However, the fact that the approaches are incommensurate does not mean that multiple methods cannot be combined in a single study if it is done for complementary purposes. Each method studies different phenomena.
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The distinction of phenomena in mixed-methods research is crucial and can be clarified by labelling the phenomenon examined by each method.
For example, a mixed-methods study to develop a measure of burnout experienced by nurses could be described as a qualitative study of the lived experience of burnout to inform a quantitative measure of burnout. This solution differs from that of merely using the strengths of each method to bolster the weaknesses of the other sor capturing various aspects of the same phenomena.
This implies an additive outcome for mutual research partners. Based on this assertion, qualitative and quantitative work can be carried out simultaneously or sequentially in a single study or series of investigations. Implications Given that we have returned to debate in a no-debate world, what is the outlook for mixed-paradigm research? As Phillips a points out, it may be that quantitative and qualitative approaches are inadequate to the task of understanding the emerging science of wholeness because they give an incomplete view of people in their environments.
Alternatively, we have proposed seeking complementarity which we believe is both philosophically and practically sound. This solution lends itself to new standards for mixed-paradigm research. We hope that future guidelines which assess the quality of such research consider this recommendation. Criteria for assessing interpretive validity in qualitative research.
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Combining qualitative and quantitative research methods: Considering the possibilities for enhancing the study of chronic diseases.
Chronic Diseases in Canada. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Traditions. Using case studies together with other methods.
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Tashakkori A, Teddlie C. Ethnographic research, also called fieldwork, involves observation of and interaction with the persons or groups being studied in the group's own environment, often for long periods of time. If IRB approval is required, you must have it before beginning research. You may need to complete additional Appendices and the Application for IRB Review will prompt you as to what additional documents may be needed. Familiarize yourself with the forms.
Be consistent across all documents. Explain the topic of your protocol in a straightforward manner; there should be minimal theory and no jargon. If you are including vulnerable populations e. You will need to complete additional Appendices, available on the HRP website.
How will you recruit participants? You might describe other methods, such as approaching people in a specific location. Describe your research procedures. Include descriptions of the tasks your participants will be asked to do and how much time will be expected of them. I will conduct interviews with [type of participants]. They will take place [location s ].
I will conduct participant observation: Identify your research methods.
The IRB also wants to see well thought-out projects. Aside from ethical considerations, it is not their responsibility to determine your topic or methodology. However, they are likely to interpret a poorly planned project as evidence that you have not devoted enough time and thought to ethical considerations, and they may be more attuned to potential problems as a result.
A project may involve multiple research methods, but distinguish clearly between them in your proposal.
The IRB will need to access the type of questions you will ask when interviewing or engaging with research subjects. This is your chance to reflect on your topic and figure out how you might elicit useful responses from your participants. Make a sincere effort to identify the questions you will ask.
If you think of other questions you want to ask later on or during the interviews, you do not need to revise the protocol with the IRB as long as those new questions are consistent with the ones you included in the application. If you decide to ask questions on an entirely new topic, you will need to submit a modification to the IRB to revise the protocol.
Consider Risks and Benefits; All ethnographic projects involve some risk to participants. The IRB wants to see evidence that: You have thought carefully about the kinds of risk your project might entail, You will take measures to minimize risk when possible and appropriate, You will clearly communicate risks to potential participants so that they can decide whether or not they want to be included in your research. Psychological—participants may experience stress, discomfort, guilt, embarrassment, etc.
Social—participants may encounter stigma or condemnation by peers. Economic—this is not usually relevant for anthropological research unless your study takes participants away from profitable activity. Participant observation and observation usually require informed consent from participants as well.