I'm looking for...


What is Mixed Method Research?

By: Toby Finden-Crofts


Mixed methods research is an approach to research that combines both qualitative and quantitative methods within a single study. It involves collecting, analysing, and interpreting data using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative techniques to gain a deeper understanding of a research problem.

When Is Mixed Method Research Used?

Mixed method research is used when researchers want to combine qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis techniques in a single study. This approach allows researchers to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a research problem by integrating the strengths of both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Mixed method research is typically employed in the following situations:

  1. Exploration and discovery.
  2. Complementing strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Triangulation.
  4. Sequential exploration.
  5. Evaluation and program assessment.

Why Is Mixed Method Research Important?

By employing mixed methods, researchers can gather a more comprehensive and robust set of data, which can lead to richer insights and a more complete understanding of complex phenomena. This approach can be particularly useful when studying research questions that cannot be adequately addressed by a single method or when researchers want to triangulate findings from different data sources to enhance validity.

Enahanced Flexibility

Mixed method research offers flexibility in study design, allowing researchers to adapt their approach based on the research questions, available resources, and practical constraints. Researchers can choose to use qualitative and quantitative methods concurrently, sequentially, or in a nested design, depending on the research objectives. This flexibility enables researchers to address a broader range of research questions and explore complex phenomena.

Wider Reach

Mixed method research has the potential to engage a broader audience. It appeals to both qualitative researchers who value rich descriptions and contextual understanding, as well as quantitative researchers who prefer statistical analysis and generalizability. By using mixed methods, researchers can communicate their findings to a wider range of readers, including academics, policymakers, and practitioners, who may have different preferences for research methodologies.

It can also address diverse research needs. Different stakeholders may have diverse research needs and preferences. Some stakeholders may be more receptive to qualitative evidence, while others may prioritize quantitative data. Mixed methods research allows researchers to cater to these diverse needs by providing a balanced approach that combines both qualitative and quantitative evidence. This inclusivity can enhance the relevance and applicability of the research findings to various audiences.

Triangulation Of Data

Mixed method research allows for triangulation, which involves cross-verifying findings from different sources or methods. Researchers can compare quantitative and qualitative data to check for consistency or discrepancies, increasing the validity and reliability of their findings. Triangulation helps to build a more robust and nuanced understanding of the topic by reducing bias and enhancing the overall credibility of the research.

Encourages A Complete Understanding of a Topic

By integrating different research techniques, mixed method research encourages a more complete understanding by addressing the limitations and biases that may arise from using a single method.

Here are a few ways in which mixed method research promotes a holistic understanding:

  1. Complementary insights: By integrating these methods, researchers can gain complementary insights that go beyond what either method can achieve alone. Quantitative data can provide broad patterns and trends, while qualitative data can provide rich contextual information and explanations.
  2. Exploratory and explanatory power: Qualitative methods can be used to generate hypotheses or theories through exploratory research, while quantitative methods can be used to test and confirm these findings through explanatory research. This iterative process of exploration and explanation helps researchers develop a more comprehensive understanding of the topic.
  3. Contextualization: Mixed methods allow researchers to contextualize quantitative findings by capturing the intricacies of the social, cultural, and environmental factors that influence a phenomenon.
  4. Enhancing validity and reliability: By using multiple methods, mixed method research can enhance the validity and reliability of the findings.

Explore a Wide Range of Methodologies with Research in Finance

Research in Finance (RiF) is an award-winning financial market research, consultancy, publisher and data provider, covering the global markets.

RiF’s wide-ranging market research services, capabilities, proprietary data and industry knowledge help leading asset management firms, life companies, insurers and industry bodies make critical business decisions and further their product development, marketing and communication strategies. Our extensive experience surveying and speaking with thousands of consumers and industry professionals makes us a trusted partner to both our clients and our research panellists. The business covers financial service markets around world. To find out more on how we can help you with your research requirements, get in touch.