The use of mixed methods research in the field of behavioural sciences

Olatz Lopez-Fernandez, Jose F. Molina-Azorin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Mixed methods research involves the combined use of quantitative and qualitative methods in the same research study, and it is becoming increasingly important in several scientific areas. The aim of this paper is to review and compare through a mixed methods multiple-case study the application of this methodology in three reputable behavioural science journals: the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Addictive Behaviors and Psicothema. A quantitative analysis was carried out to review all the papers published in these journals during the period 2003-2008 and classify them into two blocks: theoretical and empirical, with the latter being further subdivided into three subtypes (quantitative, qualitative and mixed). A qualitative analysis determined the main characteristics of the mixed methods studies identified, in order to describe in more detail the ways in which the two methods are combined based on their purpose, priority, implementation and research design. From the journals selected, a total of 1,958 articles were analysed, the majority of which corresponded to empirical studies, with only a small number referring to research that used mixed methods. Nonetheless, mixed methods research does appear in all the behavioural science journals studied within the period selected, showing a range of designs, where the sequential equal weight mixed methods research design seems to stand out.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1472
Number of pages14
JournalQuality and Quantity
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioural sciences
  • Mixed methods research
  • Quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Research design

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