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HPR275: Research in the Professional Literature of Exercise Physiology and Physical Education

Mixed Methods Research

As its name suggests, mixed methods research involves using elements of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Using mixed methods, a researcher can more fully explore a research question and provide greater insight. 

Need to find quantitative or qualitative research?

The CINAHL and PsycINFO databases both allow for the application of filters that will yield results that are either qualitative or quantitative in nature. 

For detailed information about how to do that in CINAHL or PsycINFO, visit the Quantitative and Qualitative LibGuide found here.  


What is Qualitative Research?

Quantitative research gathers data that can be measured numerically and analyzed mathematically. Quantitative research attempts to answer research questions through the quantification of data. 

Indicators of quantitative research include:

  • contains statistical analysis 

  • large sample size 

  • objective - little room to argue with the numbers 

  • types of research: descriptive studies, exploratory studies, experimental studies, explanatory studies, predictive studies, clinical trials 

What is Quantitative Research?

Qualitative research is based upon data that is gathered by observation. Qualitative research articles will attempt to answer questions that cannot be measured by numbers but rather by perceived meaning. Qualitative research will likely include interviews, case studies, ethnography, or focus groups. 

Indicators of qualitative research include:

  • interviews or focus groups 

  • small sample size 

  • subjective - researchers are often interpreting meaning 

  • methods used: phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, historical method, case study 

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