Discussion 7 Assignment: All “Mixed-Up”4 —Thinking in a Mixed Methods Way, writing homework help

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Discussion 7 Assignment:

Were you surprised to see that the article you read this week involved 20 different leaders in research speaking about the same topic—contributing 20 different, yet substantive, answers to the question “What are mixed methods?” Reading over the various definitions reveals one of the hallmarks of the mixed methods approach: It is a deeply flexible and creative approach to research design. As you proceed on your professional path and continue to read research about early childhood, look especially for studies with a mixed methods approach as their results usually present a rich and complex understanding of the study topic. For the discussion this week you are invited to share what you perceive as the value of the mixed methods approach for early childhood. In preparation for this discussion assignment,

Evaluate and determine whether using a mixed method approach might or might not benefit your research simulation

State the main reason you perceive for using/not using mixed methods

Articulate one question you would like to pose to your colleagues related to the use of mixed methods

Note: As it has been several weeks since you first shared your research simulation topic with your colleagues, include your research question at the beginning of your response.

Please refer to Article: Table 1, pp. 119–121 ( FILE ATTACHED)

Johnson, R. B., Onwuegbuzie, A.J., & Turner, L. A. (2007). Toward a definition of mixed methods research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(2), 112–133

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Toward a Definition of Mixed Methods Research Journal of Mixed Methods Research Volume 1 Number 2 April 2007 112-133 © 2007 Sage Publications 10.1177/1558689806298224 http://jmmr.sagepub.com hosted at http://online.sagepub.com R. Burke Johnson University of South Alabama, Mobile Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie University of South Florida, Tampa Lisa A. Turner University of South Alabama, Mobile The purpose of this article is to examine how the field of mixed methods currently is being defined. The authors asked many of the current leaders in mixed methods research how they define mixed methods research. The authors provide the leaders’ definitions and discuss the content found as they searched for the criteria of demarcation. The authors provide a current answer to the question, What is mixed methods research? They also briefly summarize the recent history of mixed methods and list several issues that need additional work as the field continues to advance. They argue that mixed methods research is one of the three major “research paradigms” (quantitative research, qualitative research, and mixed methods research). The authors hope this article will contribute to the ongoing dialogue about how mixed methods research is defined and conceptualized by its practitioners. Keywords: mixed methods; mixed methodology; mixed research; multimethod; paradigm; pragmatism M ixed methods research (also called mixed research in this article) is becoming increasingly articulated, attached to research practice, and recognized as the third major research approach or research paradigm,1 along with qualitative research and quantitative research. In this article, we will show that there might not be a single criterion of demarcation for mixed methods research, but there are several important criteria for thinking about mixed methods research in a narrow or pure sense as well as in a broader or highly inclusive sense. We believe that whereas there might not be a perfect or essentialist definition forthcoming, dialogue and social construction of a workable definition is a worthwhile goal for the field, understanding, of course, that definitions can and will usually change over time as the approach or “research paradigm” continues to grow. The classical pragmatic philosophers (i.e., Peirce, James, Dewey) had it right when they pointed out that the present is always a new starting point. This article has four related purposes. First, we will review the recent history of mixed methods research to place the forthcoming definitions in recent historical context. Second, we list 19 definitions and summarize them through content analysis and discussion. The summary definition we provide is the result of an online discussion with several leaders in the field. Third, we also provide definitions of qualitative dominant and quantitative dominant mixed methods research. Fourth, we list several issues that might need additional 112 Johnson et al. / Toward a Definition 113 attention as the field advances. We hope that the definitions provided here will be useful as the field continues positioning itself as one of the three methodological or research paradigms (i.e., qualitative research, quantitative research, and mixed methods research). A Recent History of Mixed Methods Research Debates about singular or universal truths or approaches to viewing the world (Socrates, Plato), versus multiple or relative truths (the Sophists such as Protagoras and Gorgias), versus balances or mixtures of the extremes (Aristotle’s “golden mean” or principle of balance, moderate skepticism, Cicero, Sextus Empiricus), go back, at least, to ancient Western philosophy, and the spirit of these debates lives today in the different views of the three major approaches to social research. According to Plato, Protagoras said that “man is the measure of all things,” and in many ways the history of Western philosophy still is debating Protagoras and the other Sophists.2 This debate continues to affect how we view knowledge, what we look for, what we expect to find, and how we believe we are to go about finding and justifying “knowledge.” We would position mixed research between the extremes Plato (quantitative research) and the Sophists (qualitative research), with mixed research attempting to respect fully the wisdom of both of these viewpoints while also seeking a workable middle solution for many (research) problems of interest. Today, the primary philosophy of mixed research is that of pragmatism. Mixed methods research is, generally speaking, an approach to knowledge (theory and practice) that attempts to consider multiple viewpoints, perspectives, positions, and standpoints (always including the standpoints of qualitative and quantitative research). Mixed research, in its recent history in the social and behavioral or human sciences, started with researchers and methodologists who believed qualitative and quantitative viewpoints and methods were useful as they addressed their research questions. For the first 60 years or so of the 20th century, “mixed research” (in the sense of including what we, today, would call qualitative and quantitative data) can be seen in the work of cultural anthropologists and, especially, the fieldwork sociologists (e.g., Gans, 1963; Hollingshead, 1949; Jahoda, Lazarsfeld, & Zeisel, 1931/2003; Lynd & Lynd, 1929/1959). However, the mixed methods label would not be coined until many years later. It is interesting to browse the books written by these earlier social scientists to see how they blended qualitative and quantitative data as they studied their communities. Although mixed methods research is not new, it is a new movement, or discourse, or research paradigm (with a growing number of members) that has arisen in response to the currents of quantitative research and qualitative research. In the history of ideas, new antitheses and syntheses continually develop in response to current theses. Mixed research is a synthesis that includes ideas from qualitative and quantitative research. In the social science methodological literature, Campbell and Fiske’s (1959) article sometimes is viewed as formalizing the practice of using multiple research methods. In this 1959 article, Campbell and Fiske introduced the idea of triangulation, referring to “multiple operationalism,” in which more than one method is used as part of a validation process that ensures that the explained variance is the result of the underlying phenomenon or trait 114 Journal of Mixed Methods Research and not of the method (e.g., quantitative or qualitative). It was argued that the convergence of findings stemming from two or more methods “enhances our beliefs that the results are valid and not a methodological artifact” (Bouchard, 1976, p. 268). Interestingly, during the early 1950s, even though he did not use the term multiple operationalism, Boring (1953) foreshadowed this concept as follows: As long as a new construct has only the single operational definition that is received at birth, it is just a construct. When it gets two alternative operational definitions, it is beginning to be validated. When the defining operations, because of proven correlations, are many, then it becomes reified. (p. 222) As can be seen, however, the idea of multiple operationalism is more of a measurement and construct validation technique, in its original formulation, than it is a full research methodology. Furthermore, early researchers’ idea of multiple operationalism follows more closely what today is called multimethod research, in contrast to what currently is called mixed methods research. However, Campbell and Fiske (1959) are rightfully credited as being the first to show explicitly how to use multiple research methods for validation purposes. The ideas of Campbell and Fiske (1959) were extended further by Webb, Campbell, Schwartz, and Sechrest (1966), who defined multiple operationalism as representing the use of multiple measures that “are hypothesized to share in the theoretically relevant components but have different patterns of irrelevant components” (p. 3). According to Webb et al., Once a proposition has been confirmed by two or more independent measurement processes, the uncertainty of its interpretation is greatly reduced. The most persuasive evidence comes through a triangulation [italics added] of measurement processes. If a proposition can survive the onslaught of a series of imperfect measures, with all their irrelevant error, confidence should be placed in it. Of course, this confidence is increased by minimizing error in each instrument and by a reasonable belief in the different and divergent effects of the sources of error. (p. 3) Thus, Webb et al. are credited with being the first to coin the term triangulation. This type of triangulation is referred to as between- or across-method triangulation. It was Denzin (1978) who first outlined how to triangulate methods. Denzin defined triangulation as “the combination of methodologies in the study of the same phenomenon” (p. 291). Denzin outlined the following four types of triangulation: (a) data triangulation (i.e., use of a variety of sources in a study), (b) investigator triangulation (i.e., use of several different researchers), (c) theory triangulation (i.e., use of multiple perspectives and theories to interpret the results of a study), and (d) methodological triangulation (i.e., use of multiple methods to study a research problem). Denzin also distinguished within-methods triangulation, which refers to the use of either multiple quantitative or multiple qualitative approaches, from between-methods triangulation, which involves the use of both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Denzin surmised that within-methods triangulation had limited value because essentially only one paradigm (e.g., quantitative) is being used such that any inherent weakness stemming from the paradigmatic approach used (e.g., inability to explain why an observed causal relationship exists) will prevail regardless of the specific research design (e.g., experimental) used within a methodological paradigm.3 Johnson et al. / Toward a Definition 115 Denzin (1978) recommended the use of between-method triangulation, contending that by utilizing mixed methods, “the bias inherent in any particular data source, investigators, and particularly method will be canceled out when used in conjunction with other data sources, investigators, and methods” (p. 14); and (b) “the result will be a convergence upon the truth about some social phenomenon” (p. 14). According to Denzin, three outcomes arise from triangulation: convergence, inconsistency, and contradiction. Whichever of these outcomes prevail, the researcher can construct superior explanations of the observed social phenomena. Although acknowledging that triangulation may not be suitable for all research purposes, Jick (1979) noted the following advantages of triangulation: (a) it allows researchers to be more confident of their results; (b) it stimulates the development of creative ways of collecting data; (c) it can lead to thicker, richer data; (d) it can lead to the synthesis or integration of theories; (e) it can uncover contradictions, and (f) by virtue of its comprehensiveness, it may serve as the litmus test for competing theories. Morse (1991) outlined two types of methodological triangulation: simultaneous or sequential. According to Morse, simultaneous triangulation represents the simultaneous use of qualitative and quantitative methods in which there is limited interaction between the two sources of data during the data collection stage, but the findings complement one another at the data interpretation stage. On the other hand, sequential triangulation is utilized when the results of one approach are necessary for planning the next method. While Denzin (1978), Jick (1979), and others were promoting triangulation, Sieber (1973) provided a list of reasons to combine quantitative and qualitative research. He outlined how such a combination can be effective at the research design, data collection, and data analysis stages of the research process. For example, at the research design stage, quantitative data can assist the qualitative component by identifying representative sample members, as well as outlying (i.e., deviant) cases. Conversely, at the design stage, qualitative data can assist the quantitative component of a study by helping with conceptual and instrument development. At the data collection stage, quantitative data can play a role in providing baseline information and helping to avoid “elite bias” (talking only to high-status individuals). On the other hand, at the data collection stage, qualitative data can help in facilitating the data collection process. During the data analysis stage, quantitative data can facilitate the assessment of generalizability of the qualitative data and shed new light on qualitative findings.4 Alternatively, during the data analysis stage, qualitative data can play an important role by interpreting, clarifying, describing, and validating quantitative results, as well as through grounding and modifying. Rossman and Wilson (1985) identified three reasons for combining quantitative and qualitative research. First, combinations are used to enable confirmation or corroboration of each other through triangulation. Second, combinations are used to enable or to develop analysis in order to provide richer data. Third, combinations are used to initiate new modes of thinking by attending to paradoxes that emerge from the two data sources. By examining published research, Greene, Caracelli, and Graham (1989) inductively identified the following five broad purposes or rationales of mixed methodological studies: (a) triangulation (i.e., seeking convergence and corroboration of results from different methods studying the same phenomenon), (b) complementarity (i.e., seeking elaboration, enhancement, illustration, clarification of the results from one method with results from the other method), (c) development (i.e., using the results from one method to help inform the 116 Journal of Mixed Methods Research other method), (d) initiation (i.e., discovering paradoxes and contradictions that lead to a reframing of the research question), and (e) expansion (i.e., seeking to expand the breadth and range of inquiry by using different methods for different inquiry components). In 1979, Reichardt and Cook made a plea for program evaluators to use both quantitative and qualitative “methodological paradigms.” They pointed out that although specific research methods and techniques are sometimes linked to methodological paradigms, it is nonetheless “our view that the paradigmatic perspective which promotes this incompatibility between the method-types is in error” (p. 11). They also pointed out that one will often want to sample attributes from each paradigm on the same dimension. For instance, comprehensive evaluations should be process-oriented as well as outcome oriented, exploratory as well as confirmatory. There is no reason for researchers to be constrained to either one of the traditional, though largely arbitrary, paradigms when they can have the best from both. (pp. 18-19) Cook (1985) coined the term critical multiplism (also see Houts, Cook, & Shadish, 1986) to refer to the ideas that research questions can be examined from different perspectives and it is often useful to combine different methods with different biases. Generally speaking, evaluation as a field has moved more quickly into the use of mixed methods research than has psychological and, even, educational research, perhaps because of the very practical nature of evaluation research and the need for multiple sources of evidence when judging social programs. Sechrest and Sidana (1995) listed four reasons for methodological pluralism: (a) for verification purposes, (b) to provide some basis for estimating possible error in the underlying measures, (c) to facilitate the monitoring of data collected, and (d) to probe a data set to determine its meaning. Also, Dzurec and Abraham (1993, pp. 76-77) identified the following six “pursuits” that link qualitative and quantitative research: (a) the pursuit of mastery over self and the world, (b) the pursuit of understanding through recomposition, (c) the pursuit of complexity reduction to enhance understanding, (d) the pursuit of innovation, (e) the pursuit of meaningfulness, and (f) the pursuit of truthfulness. Most recently, Collins, Onwuegbuzie, and Sutton (2006) identified four rationales for conducting mixed research: participant enrichment (e.g., mixing quantitative and qualitative research to optimize the sample using techniques that include recruiting participants, engaging in activities such as institutional review board debriefings, ensuring that each participant selected is appropriate for inclusion), instrument fidelity (e.g., assessing the appropriateness and/or utility of existing instruments, creating new instruments, monitoring performance of human instruments), treatment integrity (i.e., assessing fidelity of intervention), and significance enhancement (e.g., facilitating thickness and richness of data, augmenting interpretation and usefulness of findings). Meanwhile, in recent years, some of the strongest supporters of qualitative research, such as Denzin, Lincoln, and Guba, have, at times, made statements that appear to give credence to mixed methods research. For example, Lincoln and Guba (1985) acknowledged that “indeed, there are many opportunities for the naturalistic investigator to utilize quantitative data—probably more than are appreciated” (pp. 198-199) Also, Guba and Lincoln (1989) stated that “the information may be quantitative or qualitative. Responsive evaluation does not rule out quantitative modes, as is mistakenly believed by many, but deals with whatever Johnson et al. / Toward a Definition 117 information is responsive to the unresolved claim, concern, or issue” (p. 174). Further, Guba and Lincoln (1994) noted that “Both qualitative and quantitative methods may be used appropriately with any research paradigm” (p. 105). Similarly, Guba and Lincoln (2005) reiterated that “within each paradigm, mixed methodologies (strategies) may make perfectly good sense” (p. 200). They also declared, “As we tried to make it clear, the ‘argument’ arising in the social sciences was not about method, although many critics of the new naturalistic, ethnographic, phenomenological, and/or case study approaches assumed it was” (p. 200). Guba and Lincoln (2005) posed and answered the following question: Is it possible to blend elements of one paradigm into another, so that one is engaging in research that represents the best of both worldviews? The answer, from our perspective, has to be a cautious yes. This is especially so if the models (paradigms) share axiomatic elements that are similar, or that resonate strongly between them. (p. 201) Schwandt (2000, 2006) has taken a stronger position on the “paradigm wars,” calling into question the need for the divisions or differentiation and the defining through opposition of qualitative (and other) research. He has pointed out that “it is highly questionable whether such a distinction [between qualitative inquiry and quantitative inquiry] is any longer meaningful for helping us understand the purpose and means of human inquiry” (2000, p. 210). Schwandt (2000) also declared the following: All research is interpretive, and we face a multiplicity of methods that are suitable for different kinds of understandings. So the traditional means of coming to grips with one’s identity as a researcher by aligning oneself with a particular set of methods (or being defined in one’s department as a stud ...
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Thinking in a Mixed Methods Way
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Thinking in a Mixed Methods Way
By going through the article readings, I found that there is a complexity of using the
mixed methods. Thus, it requires a researcher to contemplate on the planning of these studies
cautiously. One of the primary consideration is to make the timing of the quantifiable and
qualitative aspects. Conditionally, the goals of each issue should be reflected in the phases of the
data collection being either concurrent or sequential about the research simulation.
The mixed method approach may benefit my research simulation through the pr...

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