Respond to discussion question 4

Respond in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

 The readings and video address the three primary research theories: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method.  Dr. Patton begins his discussion by identifying how the word theory is confusing and intimidating in some circles (Laureate Education, 2009).  This was an intriguing statement because I would have never considered that deduction.  His video did not identify the source of this statement, but it is worthy of additional future research to determine the source and accuracy of this statement.  Dr. Patton provides a general definition of the three theories as follows (Laureate 2009):

            Quantitative Theory is a deductive theory based on an assumption that will be validated or refuted.  The uniqueness of this data based theory is one should be able to replicate the research in various locations across multiple years and attain similar results.

            Qualitative Theory is derived by inductive reasoning associated with observations and discussions with subjects.  Qualitative research does not have a hypothesis or assumption, the research findings evolve from the patterns identified in this process.  Patton identified the evolution of the battered wives syndrome as an example.

            The Mixed Method Theory combines the two theories and highlights the strong points associated with each research methodology.  This process is referred to as triangulation (p 4) to ensure the information is consistent between the two primary methods.


     Creswell (2009) expands on applications associated with each primary theory.  For example, the quantitative theory is associated with variables and time.  Many research studies provide statistics that include comparisons based on sex, race, age, and etcetera.  One variable may affect another base on time factors.  Understanding this will help shape the hypothesis and associated deductions (p 52).  Creswell (2009) also discusses qualitative theory as looking through a set of lens (64).  He talked about this being a transformative process that addresses the research process towards an affected class or group without bias (p 64).  However, this model seems to be the basis of many research books and models that incorporate research methodologies and participants to support a specific biased philosophy.  Finally, Creswell (2009) addresses unique ways in which a research can analyze, collect, and integrate the mixed method theory (p 68).  He also addressed additional evolving frameworks associated with the mixed method process.  With the implementation and acceptance of interdisciplinary studies as an academic discipline, there is the potential for additional frameworks to develop in the future.



Creswell, John W. (2013-03-14).  Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed 

     Methods Approaches SAGE Publications.  Kindle Edition.


Video: Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer).  (2009j). Theory.  Baltimore, MD: Author.

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