A brief measure of attitudes towards mixed methods research in psychology
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The adoption of mixed methods research in psychology has trailed behind other social science disciplines. Teaching psychology students, academics, and practitioners about mixed methodologies may increase the use of mixed methods within the discipline. However, tailoring and evaluating education and training in mixed methodologies requires an understanding of, and way of measuring, attitudes toward mixed methods research in psychology. To date, no such measure exists. In this article we present the development and initial validation of a new measure: Attitudes toward Mixed Methods Research in Psychology. A pool of 42 items developed from previous qualitative research on attitudes toward mixed methods research along with validation measures was administered via an online survey to a convenience sample of 274 psychology students, academics and psychologists. Principal axis factoring with varimax rotation on a subset of the sample produced a four-factor, 12-item solution. Confirmatory factor analysis on a separate subset of the sample indicated that a higher order four factor model provided the best fit to the data. The four factors; ‘Limited Exposure,’ ‘(in)Compatibility,’ ‘Validity,’ and ‘Tokenistic Qualitative Component’; each have acceptable internal reliability. Known groups validity analyses based on preferred research orientation and self-rated mixed methods research skills, and convergent and divergent validity analyses based on measures of attitudes toward psychology as a science and scientist and practitioner orientation, provide initial validation of the measure. This brief, internally reliable measure can be used in assessing attitudes toward mixed methods research in psychology, measuring change in attitudes as part of the evaluation of mixed methods education, and in larger research programs.
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