T. Anguera, P. Sanchez

University of Barcelona (SPAIN)
The need to move toward research designs with a methodological approach that offers an optimal integration of the various analytic techniques used in the field of Social Sciences has been referred to as the ‘third methodological movement’ (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003). The characteristics of this new model of analysis go beyond the traditional methodological approaches, whether quantitative (Ayer, 1959; Maxwell & Delaney, 2004; Popper, 1959; Schrag, 1992) or qualitative (Campbell & Stanley, 1963; Lincoln & Guba, 2000).

Despite the enormous potential of these designs in themselves the English-speaking world has recently seen an increase in the number of studies which have made use of new research designs, commonly referred to as multimethod or mixed methods. These designs offer a new view of methodological integration and combine both quantitative and qualitative techniques (Brewer & Hunter, 2006).

The broad field of Social Sciences has provided extensive material for research from a wide range of methodological approaches. Noteworthy among these are the methodologies based on instrumental techniques derived from disciplines such as biomechanics in sport disciplines, as well as those built upon methodology of observational analysis.

Furthermore, the advances made within this specialist area in recent years have seen it become an extremely useful tool in the research process.

As regards research designs based on techniques of observational analysis, these have enabled the development of ad hoc instruments that are specific to each design, and have also led to the automatization of recordings and the creation of specialised software based on algorithms that allow investigators to conduct sequential and concurrent analyses of both quantitative and qualitative data. These methodological approaches are becoming increasingly popular due to the need to work with habitual behaviour in naturalistic contexts. In adopting a perspective based on mixed methods we aim to increase the robustness of our research line by creating a link between these two types of approach.

The possibility of integrating both methodological approaches would enable us to offer a new view and analysis In the Social Sciences in two respects: (1) optimising the dynamics and strategies of play and aspects of decision-making in sport, etc. thanks to the triangulation and complementarity of data, not only in terms of their nature (i.e. quantitative or qualitative) but also with respect to the concurrence and sequential nature of events and states; and (2) analysing the efficacy and quality of morphokinesic patterns (motor skills, technical abilities, specialised gestures) in the specific areas of Social Sciences.

In this paper we offer you a taxonomy of mixed designs in this framework of methodological complementarily in Social Sciences (in special, in Psychology).