The past three decades have seen a proliferation of research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, available to psychologists. Whereas some scholars have claimed that qualitative and quantitative methods are inherently opposed, recently many more researchers have argued in favor of "mixed methods" approaches. In this dissertation I begin with a review of the mixed methods literature regarding how to integrate qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Based on this review, I argue that current mixed methods approaches have fallen short of their goal of integrating qualitative and quantitative methodologies and I argue that this problem may be due to a problematic ontology. In response to this problem I propose and conduct an ontological analysis, which examines the writings of leading mixed methods researchers for evidence of an underlying ontology. This analysis reveals that an abstractionist ontology underlies current mixed methods approaches. I then propose that an alternative relational ontology might better enable mixed methods researchers to meaningfully relate qualitative and quantitative methodologies and I provide an exploration of what assuming a relational ontology would mean for mixed methods research.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Wiggins, Bradford J., "The Dilemma of Mixed Methods" (2011). Theses and Dissertations. 2810.
mixed methods, qualitative, quantitative, ontology, abstractionism, relationality