Quantitative, Qualitative and contemporary Mixed methods

Research Methods


The third major element in the framework is the specific research method that involves the form of data collection, analysis, and interpretation that the researcher proposes for the research framework. It is useful to consider the various possibilities of data collection and to organize these methods, for example, by pre-defined levels of nature, their use of closed versus open questions, and their focus on numerical, versus non-numeric data analysis.

The researcher collects data on an instrument, or test, (e.g., a series of questions about, attitudes towards self-esteem) or collects information on a behavioral checklist (e.g., observation of a worker engaged in a complex skill). 

At the other end of the continuum, data collection may involve visiting a research site and observing an individual's behavior without pre-determined questions or conducting interviews in which the individual is allowed to speak openly about a topic, mostly without using specific questions. 

The choice of method activates whether the goal is to determine the type of information to be collected before the study or to allow it to emerge from the participants in the project. Also, the type of data analyzed can be numerical information collected on instrument scales or text information records and reports of the voices of participants. Researchers make interpretations of statistical results, or they interpret themes or patterns that emerge from the data.

In some forms of research, both quantitative and qualitative data are collected, analyzed, and interpreted. Instrument Data can be supplemented by open observation, or census data can be followed by in-depth exploratory interviews. In the case of this mixing method, the researcher makes conclusions in both quantitative and qualitative databases.

Scenarios specific to the study can illustrate how these three elements combine into the research design.

Quantitative approaches: postpositivist worldviews, experimental designs, and measures of pretest and posttest attitudes             

In this scenario, the researcher tests the theory by determining a narrow hypothesis and collecting data to support or refute the hypothesis. Experimental designs are used in which attitudes are assessed before and after the experimental treatment. Data is collected on instruments that measure attitudes, and information is analyzed using statistical procedures and hypothesis testing.

Qualitative approaches: constructivist views, ethnographic design, and behavioral observation             

In this situation, the researcher seeks to establish the meaning of a phenomenon from the views of the participants. This means identifying groups sharing culture and learning how to develop shared patterns of behavior over time (i.e., ethnography). One of the key elements in collecting data in this way is to observe the behavior of participants during their involvement in the activity.

Qualitative approaches: transformative worldviews, narrative design, and open-ended interviews             

For this study, the investigator sought to examine an issue related to the oppression of individuals. To study this, stories are collected about the oppression of individuals using narratives and approaches. 

Individuals were interviewed long enough to determine how they personally experienced bullying.

Mixed method approach: pragmatic worldview, sequential collection of quantitative and qualitative data in design             

The researcher bases the investigation on the assumption that collecting different types of data Best provides a more complete understanding of the research problem than quantitative or qualitative data alone. 

The study begins with a broad survey to generalize the results to a population and then, in a second phase, focuses on qualitative, open-ended interviews to gather detailed views of the participants to help explain the initial quantitative survey.


Creswell, J. W. (2014). A concise introduction to mixed methods research. SAGE publications.

Ishtiaq, M. (2019). Book Review Creswell, JW (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. English Language Teaching12(5), 40.

Clark, V. L. P., & Creswell, J. W. (2014). Understanding research: A consumer's guide. Pearson Higher Ed.

Creswell, J. W. (2014). The selection of a research approach. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches 3-24.

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