A triangulation research design combines three different types of data gathering. The term "triangulation" or "concurrent triangulation" comes from the three concurrent levels of testing in many triangulation studies: first the quantitative level (such as interviewing and observation), then a qualitative level (such as a survey and statistical analysis of outcome data) and then a quantitative analysis that incorporates the findings from the other two tests.
triangulation research design definition
- quantitative level, such as observation or interviews
- qualitative level, such as survey and statistical analysis of outcome data
- quantitative analysis the incorporates the findings from the prior tests
The primary advantage of triangulation designs is the ability to find agreement and validation of results through various research methods. If different research methods come to the same conclusion, the researcher can be more confident in the results. It is more likely they are truly a reflection of what is actually happening and not a reflection of the method of testing used to gather the data.
The primary advantage of triangulation designs is the ability to find agreement and validation of results through various research methods.
Balance Between Methods
The qualitative research methodology focuses on stories, exploration, contextualizing, introspection, and theory construction. It uses small sample sizes and in-depth studies of single occurrences. On the other hand, quantitative research focuses on large groups, trends, and patterns.
By combining qualitative and quantitative methods, a researcher can find trends and inconsistencies through quantitative research, then use qualitative methods to dig into those issues, find out why they occur, and learn the thoughts of the individuals involved.
Another way researchers use triangulation involves having two or more researchers gather data. This practice compensates for researcher bias that could influence the results of a study.
Avoid researcher bias
Two or more researchers gathering data compensates for unwanted researcher bias.
Disadvantages of Triangulation
The drawbacks of triangulation include the lack of a uniform methodology. Those who use triangulation often fail to explain their techniques adequately and use varying methods for combining results.
Inadequate Training - Another problem is that graduate students are often trained in either qualitative or quantitative methods and may not have adequate training in the opposite methods to implement a valid and effective study.
Rachel Murdock published her first article in "The Asheville Citizen Times" in 1982. Her work has been published in the "American Fork Citizen" and "Cincinnati Enquirer" as well as on corporate websites and in other online publications. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism at Brigham Young University and a Master of Arts in mass communication at Miami University of Ohio.