Quantitative, Qualitative, Or Mixed Methods Essay

1418 Words Jan 5th, 2015 6 Pages
Researchers are tasked with choosing the most relevant method to study a particular phenomenon. In the planning stages of a study, the researcher must decide whether to collect data that is quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. Quantitative research is defined by Creswell (2014) as “a means for testing objective theories by examining the relationship among variables” (p. 247). Quantitative data is typically collected in numerical form and analyzed using statistical analysis. Furthermore, quantitative data is generally used when cause-and-effect relationships are not under investigation (Leedy & Ormond, 2010). Qualitative research is defined by Creswell (2014) as “a means for exploring and understanding the meaning individuals or groups ascribe to a social or human problem (p. 246). Qualitative data is usually collected in the natural setting of the perceived problem, but can include open-ended survey questions, personal interviews, or observations (Leedy & Ormond, 2010). Mixed method research combines both qualitative and quantitative methods. For the purpose of this discussion, qualitative research methods will be explored. What follows is a definition of a case study, when to use case studies, and psychobiography. Additionally, archival research will be defined, as well as major sources for archival data is provided. Finally, content analysis in archival research is explained.
Case Studies
One common qualitative research method scientists often choose is a case…

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