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Why Triangulation in Social Research

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Why Triangulation in Social Research Social realities are inherently complex to be grasped in its entirety with one method of investigation. It is so complex that it is impossible to be captured by a single way of data collection or technique. All the existing tools of sociological method have advantages and disadvantages. In other words, each method contains strength and weakness. No single one can prove all the required ideals. Therefore, it is useful to triangulate to compensate the weaknesses of other methods so as to have a holistic view of social realities. Triangulation is the collection of sociological data using different methods so as to have a robust and more accurate data. The questionnaire is an excellent tool for collecting information on quantitative side of social phenomena, but it lacks the ability to probe in other to get exact situation of the social phenomena. It can provide data on probability but not in-depth explanation of why things occur. Dimensions of Triangulation 1. Data triangulation: data is triangulated in space, time and population. Space means carrying out the same research with the same method in another place so as to check if the conclusion of the research applies at that place. Time means carrying out the research again in the same place by holding all parameters except time. Here you triangulate time by observing all the former research procedures again except time. By population triangulation, I mean carrying the research again with the same procedure on another population. 2. Investigator Triangulation: nobody has all attribute to investigate everything. Men and women should be used. This is because, there are some places men cannot enter and women can vice vassal. 3. Theory Triangulation: this is the combination of many theories to get a holistic view of social reality. In this, we need to blend the theories together. 4. Methodological Triangulation: this involves the use of different sociological methods of investigation to support or challenge conclusions. There are two types of methodological triangulation. They are: (a) Across or Between method and (b) Within method of triangulation. The former is combining two different methods of data collection. This is to check the consistency of each other and also to compensate the lapses of each other. While the later is a multiple us of the same technique to obtain data as a means of testing hypothesis and to challenge tentative conclusions.



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