Mixed methods research can be defined as the intentional combination of qualitative and quantitative methods within research. Qualitative research aims to gather an in-depth understanding of human experience and investigate whypeople have the attitudes, behaviors, values, and motivations that they do through a nonnumeric analysis of the world. Qualitative research mainly utilizes words, such as observations, interviews, and focus groups, to understand the contexts in which events occur. Conversely, quantitative research aims to gather a breadth of knowledge about a specific topic in a controlled context that can be generalized to the larger community. Quantitative researchers utilize questionnaires, surveys, physiological measures, and other standardized assessments that can be analyzed using numbers and advanced statistical techniques. These differing approaches to research are thought by many to be incompatible due to differences in their techniques, goals, scientific rigor, and...
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- The link below provides a detailed introduction to mixed methods research by the National Science Foundation, including key concepts, major differences between qualitative and quantitative techniques, and why you might use a mixed methods approach. Other helpful resources are also included within this link. http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1997/nsf97153/chap_1.htm