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What’s Your Research Methods Worldview?

This is the question we tackled in my Friday night class (Yes. It’s on Friday night from 5:30-8:20 pm = Awesome). #ATTD6480: Research Methods is one of my final courses in my doctoral program designed to help graduate students create an empirical research article and/or develop our dissertation proposal. I am looking forward to it – so far we started to talk about our preferred research methods and potential topics for the semester.

Cartoon image c/o Sheldon Comics

This was our opening activity. We had to read this cartoon and respond to this question: Are you more drawn to qualitative or quantitative research? Why?

My response is that I dabble in both areas. For areas of study and research, I really do need to take a mixed method approach. In class, I identified with the pragmatism and constructivism worldview philosophy for research. In looking around the table, I am fortunate to be the only one applying mixed methods based on my experiences in research, work and collaborating with some great authors. As a researcher, I seek to understand rather than test a theory (postpositivism), and I am usually looking to generate practical, real-world solutions with my research. Here is a quick breakdown of four world views of research from Creswell (2009, p. 6):

Empirical observation and measurement
Theory verification
Multiple participant meaning
Social and historical construction
Theory generation
Empowerment Issue-oriented
Consequences of actions
Realist-world practice oriented

Where in the world does your research lie? What sort of research methods do you prefer? What strategies of inquiry do you apply for your qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods approach? I will continue to share ideas from this class and my first official qualitative class (#ANTH 5031: Ethnographic & Qualitative Methods) over the course of the semester. I welcome your research methods, applications and resources.

Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Islands, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.

18 thoughts on “What’s Your Research Methods Worldview?”

  1. Hi Laura,
    I did a similar unit in the first half of last year, it was a pre requisite before my candidacy and I wound it so helpful in forming and firming up my approach and understanding before candidacy, plus the candidacy document draft produced in teh unit was a massive help in moving to full candidacy.
    Thanks for sharing and good luck with the unit, Friday evening classes really suck though…


    1. Thanks, Francis. This is one of last steps before we can be a doctoral candidate as well. Although it’s on Friday, I suppose I will be able to make it through – at least I enjoy research methods otherwise Friday classes would be a drag. 🙂


    1. Oh – I will be sure to remind you some more about graduate school with future posts I am sure. Blogging about some of these methods & theories allows me to think through my own research methods. 🙂


    1. It’s a decent text – I will be sure to share other thoughts and ideas from this book, and the other two we’re using this semester. Suggestions for further research methods support/resources are always welcome. I appreciate learning for your postpositivist ways. 🙂


  2. hello Laura,

    Im doing a paper on research methodology and the effective research technique. one thing Im struggling with is my definition of Worldview. I found your explanation helpful but was wondering if you could point me to somewhere where I could get more info. you could contact me at nazy911@gmail.com


    1. I recommend reading and reviewing the book I referenced in the post as it was very helpful:
      Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Islands, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.

      Other suggested methods books, just depends on your goal to define your own worldview or something else. I was not clear about what you are looking for.


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