There are various similarities between the qualitative, mixed, and quantitative methods of research studies. One of the notable similarities in the qualitative and quantitative studies is that both research studies use raw data. Even when the numbers are unbiased, the researchers must ensure that they choose some of them while the other numbers are disregarded.
Another similarity is that, in these studies, the research method usually involves the researcher for all the studies. This similarity is amplified by the fact that there is therefore researcher’s involvement in all these researches. Another important similarity between these research methods is that they can use the qualitative methods of research in the process of gaining research. At the same time, they may also use quantitative methods to ensure that they can make informed conclusions.
On the other hand, mixed methods can also be used to ensure objective findings that the researcher can use to explain some of the complex research topics. Another similarity is also found in the fact that the mixed research methods also use qualitative and quantitative approaches in the collection and data usage in the same study (Ramírez-Montoya & Lugo-Ocando, 2020). The mixed method is usually considered the only research study that integrates both qualitative and quantitative methods, and hence benefits from these research methods.
There are also differences between these research methods. One of the key differences is that the mixed methods are considered in using both quantitative and qualitative information to ensure that they answer the research questions effectively. These methods are also differentiated in that they are likely used in some areas such as the social sciences and behavioral health, in complex societal research situations, and the multi-disciplinary setting.
On the other hand, for qualitative research, there is an analysis of the numerical data, which in most instances is used for statistical analysis (Mehrad & Zangeneh, 2019). Qualitative research is also used to describe the quality and the subject. The research is also used in interpreting and understanding the events since they use narrative descriptions. Qualitative research results in data collection, usually used for exploratory purposes.
Such data can also be used for other reasons, such as finding the common theme for the research. Quantitative research methods also result in the use of numbers used in testing hypotheses, ensuring that predictions are made using the measured amounts. This, in return, ensures that event can be described using figures. Here, most of the researchers also result in using some powerful statistical tools.
Using a mixed methods research study, one can analyze both qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative results can help explain quantitative results, which can then inform future quantitative research. In this way, mixed methods research is a cyclical process. The qualitative results can inform the next survey measure or study.
A qualitative research study uses objects, words, or both to explore the ideas or processes involved in a specific problem or process. These research methods can uncover new insights and reveal the causes and effects of particular factors. Quantitative research focuses on examining the relationship between known variables and aims to prove or disprove a study’s hypothesis.
Qualitative data is characterized by its richness and context. It is an excellent choice for exploratory research. Moreover, it provides continuous data with a predictive element. However, qualitative data is not statistically representative. Additionally, it often requires several data sessions. In some cases, this can lead to misleading conclusions.
Mixed methods research combines quantitative and qualitative research methods. This type of research involves the collection of both types of data, analysis of both forms of data, and interpretation of the results. There are two types of mixed methods research: convergent mixed methods design and explanatory sequential design. Convergent mixed methods design aims to compare both types of data to determine the best way to answer a research question. Explanatory sequential design is a method used to compare qualitative and quantitative data side by side.
Qualitative research is generally characterized by the collection of data from a small group of people. It typically includes follow-up questions to understand the why behind the responses. Qualitative research is also flexible, allowing researchers to adapt their methods based on the engagement of the participants. Common qualitative research methods include interviews, focus groups, and field studies.