Toolkit 12: What to do with contradictory data?
Vanessa May, Morgan Centre, University of Manchester, July 2010
This toolkit focuses on the issue of data integration within mixed methods research. The term 'mixed methods' is used here to denote research that combines qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis in one study.
One of the main issues facing many mixed methods researchers is the question of how to integrate data, with the particular problem of 'contradictory' data. Mixed methods research is perhaps particularly prone to 'contradictions' in data because of the different categories and levels of analysis, as well as contrasting explanatory logics, that are employed. This toolkit discusses different approaches to the issue of integration and 'contradictory' data.
Our other resources on mixing methods and data
- May, V and Burke, H (2010) 'Practical considerations of leading and working on a mixed methods project', Toolkit 11
- Mason, J (2006) 'Six strategies for mixing methods and linking data in social research', Working paper 04
- Irwin, S (2006) 'Combining data, enhancing explanation', Working paper 02
- Mason, J (2006) 'Mixing methods in a qualitatively-driven way', Qualitative Research Vol 6 (1) 19-25