Qualitative Vignette Experiments: A Mixed Methods Design

Gitte Sommer Harrits, Marie Østergaard Møller

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Despite emerging interest in mixing experimental and qualitative methods, a gap exists in integrating qualitative vignettes and experimental design. We present a novel mixed methods design, the qualitative vignette experiment, defined as the use of vignettes designed to introduce experimentally controlled variation in information within qualitative semi-structured interviews. We argue that this design can provide context-rich data on causal mechanisms. This article contributes to the debate on integration in mixed methods research and is useful for scholars studying human practice and the link between macro-structural conditions and micro-interpretive processes. The design builds on an integrated ontology of critical realism and a complementary epistemological foundation of post-positivism and interpretivism. This means that researchers have to adhere to multiple validity criteria.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Mixed Methods Research
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)526-545
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • research designs, theory and method


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