Its introduction resulted from the needs for a third methodological movement in addition to the existing quantitative and qualitative approaches. However, the emergence of the mixed methods approach stirred a heated…
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In the 1970s and 1980s, the mixed methods approach triggered a paradigm war (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2009). Many of the researchers involved in the war sought to settle for an established rationale that would fit the combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies in mixed methods research. The main challenge of achieving this was the fact that many of the existing paradigms governing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies seemed incompatible to be applied in a single study (Creswell & Plano, 2011). This paper will present a critical review of research paradigms used in mixed methods.
Postpositivism is one of the common philosophical paradigms developed to support quantitative studies. Many postpositivists believe that reality does exist, although it exhibits itself in different sets of probabilities. Postpositivism highlights that researchers should maintain a separate distance from participants in a research. Usually, the researchers are outsiders (Christ, 2013). The reason for maintaining distance between the participant and researcher is to ensure that the study exhibits a high level of objectivity (Creswell & Plano, 2011). Researchers using postpositivism as a preferred paradigm seek to gain accurate and reliable data from the participants while reducing any form of bias. In order to minimize bias of any form, researchers prefer not to let their values or experiences influence the study in any way (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2009). Postpositivism applies a deductive approach, which means that researchers seek to carry out a rigorous test of priory theories. Notably, the postpositivism approach may be used in the quantitative approach in a mixed method research. This is especially the case when a mixed methods approach comprises of a quantitative analysis and a qualitative analysis. Postpositivism is applicable in mixed methods research if researchers opt for the multiple paradigm approach. In
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