Rejecting the artificial dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative research strategies in the social and behavioral sciences, Isadore Newman and Carolyn R. Benz argue that the two approaches are neither mutually exclusive nor interchangeable; rather, the actual relationship between the two paradigms is one of isolated events on a continuum of scientific inquiry.
Through graphic and narrative descriptions, Newman and Benz show research to be a holistic endeavor in the world of inquiry. To clarify their argument, they provide a diagram of the "qualitative-quantitative interactive continuum" showing that qualitative analysis with its feedback loops can easily modify the types of research questions asked in quantitative research and that the quantitative results and its feedback can change what will be asked qualitatively.
In their model for research?an "interactive continuum"?Newman and Benz emphasize four major points: the research question dictates the selection of research methods; consistency between question and design can lead to a method of critiquing research studies in professional journals; the interactive continuum model is built around the place of theory; and the assurance of "validity" of research is central to all studies.
Isadore Newman is a professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at the University of Akron. With Keith McNeil and Francis J. Kelly, he coauthored Testing Research Hypotheses with the General Linear Model, available from Southern Illinois University Press.
Carolyn R. Benz is an associate professor of education at the University of Dayton.