Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Triangulation in research, with examples
  1. Helen Noble1,
  2. Roberta Heale2
  1. 1 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  2. 2 School of Nursing, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helen Noble, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK; helen.noble{at}

Statistics from

What is triangulation

Triangulation is a method used to increase the credibility and validity of research findings.1 Credibility refers to trustworthiness and how believable a study is; validity is concerned with the extent to which a study accurately reflects or evaluates the concept or ideas being investigated.2 Triangulation, by combining theories, methods or observers in a research study, can help ensure that fundamental biases arising from the use of a single method or a single observer are overcome. Triangulation is also an effort to help explore and explain complex human behaviour using a variety of methods to offer a more balanced explanation to readers.2 It is a procedure that enables validation of data and can be used in both quantitative and qualitative studies.

Triangulation can enrich research as it offers a variety of datasets to explain differing aspects of a phenomenon of interest. It also helps refute where one dataset invalidates a supposition generated by another. It can assist the confirming of a hypothesis where one set of findings confirms another set. Finally, triangulation can help explain the results of a study.3 Central to triangulation is the notion that methods leading to the same results give more confidence in the research findings.4

Four types of triangulation are proposed by Denzin (p.301):5 (1) data triangulation, which includes matters …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.