What is Triangulation in Research? Common Types of Triangulation in Research

Triangulation in Research
Are you looking to enhance the credibility and validity of your research study? If yes, then you must employ the technique of triangulation in research. It is a method that researchers like you most commonly use to enhance the validity of their research studies and make them more credible and authentic. As you are here reading this article, it means you want to know more about this technique of doing a research study. Well, welcome to this post. In today’s post, we will define the technique of triangulation and describe the common types of this technique. Thus, let’s start with the definition.

What Is Triangulation In Research?

Triangulation in research is a process of studying different research issues and problems by using multiple research methods and perspectives. Yes, as a researcher, you do not rely on the use of a single method to study the problem. This research technique allows you to make use of multiple datasets, methods, and theories to address defined research questions. The most important thing to know about this research strategy is that it enhances the research’s accuracy, validity, and credibility by manifolds.

What Are Common Types Of Triangulation In Research?

The technique of triangulation is mostly used in sociological research studies. Depending on the topic and research methodology it requires, there are different types of triangulation in research. Do you know what those types are? Probably not. Well, worry not; a brief description of the common types of triangulation is as follows:

1. Data Triangulation

Data triangulation is the first type of triangulation, and in this type, you use different data sources to answer your research questions. The data collection is varied by time, space, and persons in the research study. By using this technique, the researcher compares his data with the data obtained from different sources. By doing this, as a researcher, you check how accurate your research results are as compared to other sources. This type is most commonly used in qualitative research studies.

2. Theory Triangulation

The second type of triangulation in research is theory triangulation. This type encourages the use of multiple research theories and theoretical frameworks to study the research question instead of using a single theoretical framework. The idea behind the use of this type is to look at the research problem from different perspectives, and this type serves this idea beautifully.

3. Methods Triangulation

As the name suggests, the methods triangulation technique is about the use of multiple methods to study a research problem. The intention behind the use of this type of triangulation in research is to reduce the deficiencies of certain research methods. Moreover, it also serves the purpose of reducing the bias caused by the use of a single research method. In other words, you can say this type compensates for the weaknesses of one research method by applying another.

4. Investigator Triangulation

It is the 4th type of triangulation involving multiple researchers, observers, or investigators. In simple words, this type suggests using more than one investigator to study a research problem so that its validity and reliability can be enhanced. It is important to note that there will be no communication between the investigators when conducting research using this method. Every observer will work using his own methodology, and if all of them reach the same conclusion, it means the research is valid and true.

5. Scales Triangulation

Scales triangulation is not very commonly used, but it is still a type of triangulation in research. This kind of triangulation study involves the use of different scales to measure or investigate the research problem. This type of triangulation is especially important in quantitative research studies, where it provides a way to check the results of the research from different scales.

6. Proximity Triangulation

Lastly, proximity triangulation is another type of triangulation which is used mostly in qualitative research studies. This type involves the study of behaviours and events which are close to each other with respect to time. This type allows you to compare two similar events that happened throughout a specific time period in one setting. It means, as a researcher, you do not have to move from one source to another.


In this post, we have discussed the definition of triangulation in research which is analysing a research problem from different perspectives. Along with this, we have discussed the top 6 types of triangulation, and among those, the four types, in the ascending order discussed above, are the most important. So, read them and learn about them.

Author Bio:
This article is written by Chris Greenwalty, a Research Analyst, working with the best dissertation writing service, The Academic Papers UK. He is a master's degree holder from the University of London and loves to write guide articles for British students.

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