Research Methodology Characteristics

Qualitative studies
o Approach is inductive
o Used when an area is under-researched
o Used when depth of understanding (e.g., meaning or experience) or
when theory generation is important
o Data analysis can be very complex (requires analysis of a large
quantity of text data)?software packages manage data but are not
used to do data analysis
Quantitative studies
o Approach is deductive
o Used when an area has been studied and initial relationships among
variables are posited
o Used to understand more complex relationships among variables
o Used when assessing cause and effect is important
o Large population-based studies
o May be easier when a large amount of data needs to be synthesized
Mixed methods studies
o Used to combine the best of both qualitative and quantitative
o Very popular when doing formative research in an area that leads to
development of instruments or interventions that can then be tested
o Reporting demographic statistics for a qualitative study does not make
it a mixed methods study