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Triangulation (social science)

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This article is about verification of research data. For other uses, see Triangulation (disambiguation).
In the social sciences, triangle is often used to indicate that two (or more) methods are used in a
study in order to check the results of one and the same subject. "The concept of triangulation is
borrowed from navigational and land surveying techniques that determine a single point in space
with the convergence of measurements taken from two other distinct points."[1] The idea is that one
can be more confident with a result if different methods lead to the same result.
Triangulation is a powerful technique that facilitates validation of data through cross verification from
two or more sources. In particular, it refers to the application and combination of several research
methods in the study of the same phenomenon.[2]

 It can be used in both quantitative (validation) and qualitative


(inquiry) studies.
 It is a method-appropriate strategy of founding the credibility of
qualitative analyses.
 It becomes an alternative to traditional criteria like reliability and
validity.
 It is the preferred line in the social sciences.
By combining multiple observers, theories, methods, and empirical materials, researchers can hope
to overcome the weakness or intrinsic biases and the problems that come from single method,
single-observer and single-theory studies.

Contents
[hide]

 1Purpose
 2Types
 3References
 4External links

Purpose[edit]
The purpose of triangulation in qualitative research is to increase the credibility and validity of the
results. Several scholars have aimed to define triangulation throughout the years.

 Cohen and Manion (2000) define triangulation as an "attempt to


map out, or explain more fully, the richness and complexity
of human behavior by studying it from more than one standpoint."[3]
 Altrichter et al. (2008) contend that triangulation "gives a more
detailed and balanced picture of the situation." [4]
 According to O’Donoghue and Punch (2003), triangulation is a
“method of cross-checking data from multiple sources to search for
regularities in the research data."[5]
 According to Erina Audrey (2013) “Triangulation also crosschecks
information to produce accurate results for certainty in data
collection.”
Types[edit]
Denzin (1978) identified four basic types of triangulation:[6]

 Data triangulation: involves time, space, and persons


 Investigator triangulation: involves multiple researchers in an
investigation
 Theory triangulation: involves using more than one theoretical
scheme in the interpretation of the phenomenon
 Methodological triangulation: involves using more than one method
to gather data, such as interviews, observations, questionnaires,
and documents.

References[edit]
1. Jump up^ Rothbauer, Paulette (2008) "Triangulation." In Given, Lisa
(Ed.), "The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods."
Sage Publications. pp. 892-894.
2. Jump up^ Bogdan, R. C. & Biklen, S. K. (2006). Qualitative research
in education: An introduction to theory and methods. Allyn &
Bacon. ISBN 978-0-205-51225-6.
3. Jump up^ Cohen, L., & Manion, L. (2000). Research methods in
education. Routledge. p. 254. (5th edition).
4. Jump up^ Altrichter, H., Feldman, A., Posch, P. & Somekh, B.
(2008). Teachers investigate their work; An introduction to action
research across the professions. Routledge. p. 147. (2nd edition).
5. Jump up^ O'Donoghue, T., Punch K. (2003). Qualitative Educational
Research in Action: Doing and Reflecting. Routledge. p.78.
6. Jump up^ Denzin, N. (2006). Sociological Methods: A
Sourcebook. Aldine Transaction. ISBN 978-0-202-30840-1. (5th
edition).

External links[edit]
 Types of Triangulation

804163-4

Categories:
 Social science methodology
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