Mixed-Methods Designs

Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer Reference Sozialwissenschaften book series (SRS)


This chapter focuses on mixed-method designs, an increasingly popular approach to designing research in the social sciences that is used to combine the respective advantages of qualitative and quantitative analytical procedures and to strengthen the empirical analysis. After the introduction, two general principles of mixed designs are discussed, the principle of triangulation and the principle of integration. The former involves the concomitant application of different methods in order to cross-validate their findings. The latter entails the sequential combination of different methods to produce a unified causal inference, whereby one method is used to establish the final inference, and the other one is applied to prepare, test, qualify or refine the analysis generating this inference. Afterwards, the chapter proceeds by presenting three varieties of mixed-method studies: statistics-oriented, case-oriented and QCA-based mixed-methods designs. The last section before concluding discusses several advantages and limitations of mixed-method research.


Integration Methodological pluralism Mixed-methods Research design Triangulation 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Political, Historical and International StudiesUniversity of LausanneLausanneSchweiz

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