The point of triangulation

J Nurs Scholarsh. 2001;33(3):253-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2001.00253.x.


Purpose: To explore various types of triangulation strategies and to indicate when different types of triangulation should be used in research.

Methods: Reviews included literature on triangulation and multimethod strategies published since 1960 and research books specifically focusing on triangulation.

Findings: Triangulation is the combination of at least two or more theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, data sources, investigators, or data analysis methods. The intent of using triangulation is to decrease, negate, or counterbalance the deficiency of a single strategy, thereby increasing the ability to interpret the findings.

Conclusions: The use of triangulation strategies does not strengthen a flawed study. Researchers should use triangulation if it can contribute to understanding the phenomenon; however, they must be able to articulate why the strategy is being used and how it might enhance the study.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nursing Research / methods*
  • Research Design*