Defining and Analyzing Mixed Method
Johnson and Christensen (2007) describe mixed research as the third and newest research methodology paradigm. Philosophically, mixed research takes an eclectic, pragmatic, and commonsense approach, suggesting that the researcher mix quantitative and qualitative in a way that works best for the given research question that is studied in a particular context. Mixed research uses both deductive and inductive methods, obtains both quantitative and qualitative data, attempts to corroborate and complement findings and takes a balanced approach to research. Researchers used the term mixed method to refer to all procedures collecting and analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data in the context of a single study.
According to Johnson and Onwuegbuzie (2004), some researchers have taken issue with the term mixed methods to describe research designs that consciously blend both approaches within or across the stages of the research process. Researchers seeking associations between primarily quantitative biophysical and primarily qualitative socio cultural data, including environmental and natural resource anthropologists can look to mixed method research designs for structured and tested integrative processes. Such designs have been used to augment traditional methods for assessing and monitoring the impacts of recreation and tourism on the physical environment (Mackay, 2004).
Defining and Analyzing Qualitative Method
On the other hand, Shank (2002) defines qualitative research as a form of systematic empirical inquiry into meaning. By systematic he means, planned, ordered, and public, following rules, agreed upon by members of the qualitative research community. By empirical, he means that this type of inquiry is grounded in the world of experience. Inquiry into meaning says researchers try to understand how others make sense of their experience. Lincoln (2000) claims qualitative research involves an interpretive and naturalistic approach; this means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or to interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. Qualitative research will be used to determine research topics seeking an explanation of "why?" or "how?" Peltzer et.al (2001) ask why do people take snuff and how do people start using it. New research may ask why smoking is increasing among women. How does the tobacco industry recruit and maintain the loyalty of some scientists and politicians? Bjerke (1994) asks why water extinguishes fire. The author response is because water is wet, or because the fire principle and the water principle are not compatible! Why do flames rise? He responds because the fire element is to light! The various methodological approaches differ, above all, in the sense that they make different assumptions about the reality they try to explain and understand. This, in turn, means that observations, collections of...