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Mount Royal University Qualitative Methodology Self Reflection Paper

Mount Royal University Qualitative Methodology Self Reflection Paper

Question Description

I’m working on a nursing discussion question and need support to help me understand better.

Self reflection about quantitative methodology, qualitative methodology and mixed methods research.

Qualitative Research

  • underlying philosophy of Constructivism (also known as Idealism)
  • considers knowledge (reality) to be ‘constructed’ (i.e., shared meaning or interpretation of the nature of being in the world)
  • constructions are subjective (i.e., subject to individual interpretation)
  • uses inductive reasoning (research-then-theory approach) where 1. categories/themes emerge from the data during analysis, and 2. categories/themes play an active role in development of theory

Quantitative Research

  • underlying philosophy of Positivism (also known as Naturalism)
  • considers knowledge to be created by application of natural science methods
  • knowledge is objective based on: 1. empiricism (knowledge based on empirical observation); 2. testing and verification of theories, and 3. development of universal laws
  • uses deductive reasoning (theory-then-research approach) where: 1. research design is tightly structured and 2. research questions are highly specific (usually formulated as hypotheses)
Quantitative Research Methods
  • data are expressed in numbers, frequencies, and percentages
  • objective is to explain, describe, or predict
  • focus is on specific, narrow questions, usually with a large sample size and questionnaires, structured observations or experiments to collect number data
  • data collected can be analyzed with statistics in an unbiased manner
  • uses simple to extremely sophisticated statistical analyses that 1. aggregate the data (e.g. averages, percentages); 2. show relationships among the data (e.g. Students with a lower GPA tend to score higher on an anxiety scale) or 3. compare across aggregated data (e.g. Students who receive tutoring have a higher GPA than students who do not receive tutoring)
  • seeks to confirm that all problems, dilemmas, or hypotheses have clear, concrete, and objective solutions that can be expressed in a numerical format
Mixed methods research is viewed as the third methodological movement that emerged in response to the limitations of quantitative or qualitative methods alone. While the purists’ view of the dichotomy between positivist and constructivist philosophies is prevalent, mixed methods research affords researchers an opportunity to use a more pragmatic approach to answer the research question.
Mixed Methods is a research methodology that draws on potential strengths of both qualitative and quantitative methods. This research approach requires a purposeful mixing of methods in data collection, data analysis and interpretation of the evidence. The key word is mixed, as an essential step in the mixed methods approach is purposeful integration of data at an appropriate stage in the research process. Purposeful data integration enables researchers to seek a more panoramic view of phenomena from different viewpoints and through diverse research lenses.

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