One of the most important good practices is triangulation. For many researchers, triangulation is most important. What is triangulation? Well, I will try to explain it using this tool. It's a sextant. It's what navigators used In order to navigate, on ships but also on land, to measure land and so on. And what you do is you try to measure by looking at the sun and looking at the horizon, and maybe by looking at different stars. And by looking at different stars, you can navigate. And you usually need three stars in order to navigate. To pinpoint your location, we nowadays use satellites. And how do we do that? Well, your mobile telephone or your GPS device measures the distance to a satellite. However, you don't know where at this circle you are. Somewhere, because you're at this distance. But you don't know whether you're here or there or somewhere else. So if you have two satellites, you know that you might be at one of these spots. However, to pinpoint your location, you need three satellites and then you are at the red dot. So this is triangulation for navigation. Triangulation for qualitative research was coined by Norman Denzin in the 1970s. And he said, there are four types of triangulation. The first type of triangulation is triangulation by methodology, or to say it more precisely, by data collection or data analysis method. And it’s easy to explain using data collection methods. If you are doing an interview and you are observing, you are using two methods. And if you’re focusing that on the same issue, the same problem, the same research question. Then you can triangulate, even with two methods, say for triangulation, you do not need three methods, you can use two methods. And more or less the same accounts for data analysis methods, or probably other methods as well. The second type of triangulation is triangulation by theory. And this is what we do all the time. We compare theories and then we try to fit our research problem in this whole range of different theories. And sometimes, we test multiple theories. And sometimes, we simply use multiple theories. The third type of triangulation is the type of triangulation by using different researchers, or different interviewers, or different coders when you're coding text. And for us, with observation, probably different observers. If you observe, someone waiting, and you observe this waiting behavior. And I observe this same person, and the waiting behavior of that same person. Then probably, we get to a little different interpretations of the situation. Now if we put them together, we can triangulate. The fourth form of triangulation is triangulation by respondents or informants. And there are two subtypes of it. The first one is to check with a first respondent and then go to a second respondent. Or at first, informant and then to a second informant. The second way of triangulation is by going to an informant, get our information, and then return with that information, and ask someone to check it, as some sort of member check. Norton Hammersley, distinguishes four different conceptualizations of triangulation. So four ways of using triangulation in literature. The first one, and the one that Norman Denzin started out with is triangulation as validity-checking. Triangulation as a way to answer a single research question, using two or more methods of data collection. So you use observations, as well as interviews, in order to answer the same research question. The second type of triangulation was suggested by Aaron Cicourel, who said that we should do member checking, but member checking of a special kind. What we should do is observe a situation, write it down, describe it and then go back to the person that was involved in that situation, discuss it, write down the discussion, rethink it, analyze it, go back and then go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Some authors, such as Clive Seale, suggest that this was kind of mocking triangulation, and they do not take it so seriously, but from a mathematical, logical point of view, you can take it seriously. The third type of triangulation is triangulation using different research questions. So, a different research question for the interview as for the observation, for instance. And you can see this as some sort of a critique of the first type of triangulation, the type of triangulation that seeks for a true value. Because here, it says, well, maybe we cannot find the exact truth. But we can find different views on it, or complementary views on it. The last type of triangulation, goes even further than that. And says, well, probably when using methods, these methods are based in an epistemological background. So when we are combining methods, we are combining observation with interviews or with surveys, we have different epistemologies. So what we're doing then is combining epistemologies, and juxtaposing those epistemologies. Again, there's quite some critique on this. Other critique on triangulation, are on these points. The first, we already discussed different methods, but is there a single truth? Is there a truth value out there? The second critique is all methods are context-bound. All social situations are context-bound, so an observation in one place and then an observation in another place, all completely different. And maybe comparison is not the best way of doing research then. Again, we can also critique this critique, but forget about that. Then the testing effect, the third critique on triangulation. If you do an interview with someone and after that, I do an interview with that same person, we test the person twice. What do we get then? Do we get triangulation, or are we checking how consistent someone answers? Probably the latter. The fourth critique is the observer effect. So if you observe, and it's more or less the same as this testing effect, but using a different method. If you observe a social situation, and then you start interviewing people about it, we have probably, created a certain frame with our observation. In those interviews. So again, a critique of different contexts and different effects. Well then in total, triangulation. It is really important, good practice. And we can use it with different purposes. If you believe in a true value, you can use it in order to verificate, to verify, or to falsify. But if you do not believe that, then you can use to reflect or to create some inter-subjectivity. And there quite some post-modern versions of triangulation, of different viewpoints, different stances and so on. We can use it to deepen our understanding of situations. Or deepen our understanding of certain research topics, and we can also broaden it.