Skip to main content
Search form
  • 00:04

    [Telling a Complete Story with Qualatative and Mixed MethodsResearch]

  • 00:10

    SPEAKER: Meet 87-year-old Pola Levin.Levin's had a difficult life.She survived a heart attack in her 60s, breast cancerin her 70s.And, most notably, she survived the Holocaust as a child.Levin, who's Jewish, was 14-years-old and livingin Poland when the war broke out.

  • 00:29

    POLA LEVIN: I had a wonderful childhood.I would, I would say privileged childhood.But then all of a sudden, everything stopped.

  • 00:40

    SPEAKER: Levin's experiences couldbe added to a large database and summarized statistically,quantitatively.For example, each year 365,000 women suffer a heart attack,227,000 are diagnosed with breast cancer,and, it's estimated, that only 5,000 Jewish teenagersin Poland out of 1 million survived the Holocaust.

  • 01:04

    SPEAKER [continued]: But for Dr. John Creswell, an applied research methodologistat the University of Nebraska, neither life nor researchis simply about numbers.There's stories to tell.And qualitative research focuses on such detail.

  • 01:18

    DR. JOHN CRESWELL: Qualitative research now in the UnitedStates is becoming more and more acceptedas a way of doing research.Quantitative gives us a large, general surfacepicture. [Dr. John Creswell, PhD]Qualitative gives us the in-depth picture.Now, you've got to say that both pictures are probably valuable.

  • 01:36

    SPEAKER: During the war, Levin's fatherwas separated from his family and eventually killed.But he had obtained false identitiesfor his wife and child.And he persuaded a non-Jewish family in the communityto introduce them to others as Christians.

  • 01:52

    POLA LEVIN: He had lots of Polish friends.And I knew how to-- I used to go to church with them.And I used to go-- you know.I knew how to play that role.So but it wasn't easy.This was not that usual, the way I survived with my mother,because we were under assumed name.

  • 02:13

    POLA LEVIN [continued]: We played that for 2 and 1/2 years.The mailman in that town in Poland wore uniforms.Every time the mail, the mailman, would come,I was sure that somebody is coming to get us.You know?It was in constant fear, constant fear, nonstop.

  • 02:33

    DR. JOHN CRESWELL: You'd be able to hearthe tone of their voice, be able to feelthe emotion of the experience.Those are all rich details.You'd never get that in quantitative research.

  • 02:46

    POLA LEVIN: Studying Holocaust survivors and other very smallpopulations present challenges.Small sample sizes are definitelysomething pushing people towards more qualitativemeans of gathering data.Research used to be just advancing our knowledgeor testing our theories.Now, we've got a whole different set of reasons

  • 03:09

    POLA LEVIN [continued]: for doing research.It may be to lift up the voices of peoplethat haven't been heard.That may be just as important, to have their voice heard,as advanced knowledge.

  • 03:19

    POLA LEVIN: We asked Creswell to watcha portion of an interview Levin did with the Shoah Foundationin 1996 and to suggest how a qualitative researcher mightcompare these two interviews done 16 years apart.

  • 03:31

    DR. JOHN CRESWELL: I would probablyget a transcript of exactly what she said.I would then go through and startcoding that to see what were some reoccurringthemes that she might have talked about.

  • 03:43

    POLA LEVIN: My mother didn't likeanything being handed to her.You know?She just wanted to be independent more.She was very strong and very life smartbecause she always used to say she livedthrough the first World War.So she was much more aware of things to come.

  • 04:03

    POLA LEVIN [continued]: People like us, my husband and I,probably should never have had children because after the war,after all what's happened to us, Idon't think that we were qualified to be parents.So at times, obviously, I'm very grateful.And I'm happy most of the time.But, you know, you can't help when

  • 04:26

    POLA LEVIN [continued]: you go through what I went throughto think that way sometimes.

  • 04:30

    POLA LEVIN: They had two children, each of whombecame a psychotherapist, and four grandchildren,each of whom was very close to their grandparents.Levin has been widowed since 1995.And in 2001, Levin returned to her hometown in Polandfor the first time since the war and had an emotional reunionwith the daughter from the family that had helped

  • 04:52

    POLA LEVIN [continued]: her to live as a Christian.Levin had kept this childhood photo of her friend.

  • 04:57

    DR. JOHN CRESWELL: I love using picturesin qualitative research.Pictures in qualitative research arewhat we call devices to elicit comments.The value of qualitative is beingable to get that detailed perspective.And then, we talked to several Holocaust survivors.Now, you have multiple perspectives.

  • 05:17

    POLA LEVIN: Creswell, it should be emphasized,is not at all opposed to quantitative research.In fact, he's pioneered a combinationof qualitative and quantitative fields called mixed methods.And baseball, surprising as it may seem,is one good way of illustrating mixed methods in everyday life.We get the quantitative measures, statistics,

  • 05:39

    POLA LEVIN [continued]: from Pittsburgh Pirates play-by-play announcer,Greg Brown.

  • 05:42

    GREG BROWN: 35-year-old Jason Grilliended up making 28 appearances with the Bucs at a 2.48 ERAand in 33 innings struck out 37 batters.

  • 05:51

    SPEAKER: But now, consider New York Mets starting pitcher RADickey.He's 38 years old.He salvaged his career by learningto throw a knuckleball.And midway through the 2012 season,he was the only major league startingpitcher regularly throwing it.Pirate color analyst and former pitcher Steve Blassgives some qualitative input.

  • 06:11

    STEVE BLASS: People ask, why don't more pitchers use it?Because it's not that easy a pitch to master bothin making it do what it's supposed to doand then throwing it for strikes if you do make it dance.

  • 06:21

    DR. JOHN CRESWELL: Why did they put two commentatorsin that booth telling those different stories?Obviously, one story by itself would notgive you the entire picture.See the fingernail's on the ball.And you'll see the ball coming in.And that looks a lot straighter than it was.Sports has been doing mixed methods for years.And now, research has just caught up.I've always argued that the best researchers in our world

  • 06:47

    DR. JOHN CRESWELL [continued]: are those that have a pretty large toolkit of approachesfor understanding problems.

  • 06:52

    SPEAKER: And the strategies in the tool boxare being used widely.everywhere from health care to social sciencesto education settings.And the belief is that mixed methods approaches will becomedominant in the years to come.

Video Info

Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Publication Year: 2013

Video Type:In Practice

Methods: Qualitative data analysis, Mixed methods

Keywords: practices, strategies, and tools

Segment Info

Segment Num.: 1

Persons Discussed:

Events Discussed:



Dr. John Creswell discusses how qualitative and mixed methods research can be used to tell a more complete story than quantitative methods alone. Using the examples of sports analysis and research on Holocaust victims, Creswell explains when to use qualitative and mixed methods.

Looks like you do not have access to this content.

Telling a Complete Story with Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research

Dr. John Creswell discusses how qualitative and mixed methods research can be used to tell a more complete story than quantitative methods alone. Using the examples of sports analysis and research on Holocaust victims, Creswell explains when to use qualitative and mixed methods.

Copy and paste the following HTML into your website