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Mixing Methods

Over the past few years I’ve become interested in food and emotion. This has made life a little hard for me statistically speaking. I was trained as a quantitative statistics researcher because these were the tools most appropriate to the research that I was interested in. But more recently I’ve had to learn new skills.

This shift is because some of the questions that I’m interested in are not suited to a quantitative approach. Usually I’d adapt my question so that I could use a quantitative approach, but this hasn’t always taken me where I wanted. With my research into food and emotion sometimes I’d like to find out about an individual’s lived experience. For example, say I met someone who had a specific and rare food phobia–maybe a run-away-and-hide phobia of ham sandwiches. There might only be one person like this (although probably not!) so in this situation it makes sense to interview the person. That’s why I’ve been interested in learning qualitative methods along side my regular box of quantitative tools.

My next challenge will be to integrate the two approaches. I think that it will be a while until I can call myself a mixed methods researcher.

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About Pakiri Lab

Most human behaviour relates to emotion: either being influenced by emotions, resulting in emotions, or both. At Pakiri Lab we research these experiences using a range of psychophysiological lab based techniques, such as facial muscle activity and heart activity.

View Pete's research profile here

Pakiri Lab A Massey Blog