Triangulating and mixed methods​​




A single research process may lead to partiality, bias, or one-sidedness even when compellingly executed with flawless recruiting, moderation, and analysis. This is the context of a new workshop to be held after Semiofest 2017 in Toronto, Canada, in July 2017. It’s called Triangulating Semiotics with Mixed Methods. Charles Leech, leading the workshop, suggests—and I agree with him—that “if you only examine an issue from one perspective (or with one research method), you end up with a distorted view of reality (a can looks like a circle, not a cylinder, from only one angle). The only way to get a true picture of reality is to triangulate: look for the same truth using at least two different methods, and see what comes up (and, notably, what doesn’t!). As a result, triangulation, or mixed methods research has become increasingly popular in market research. Quant and qual have long been partnered, but now more ‘innovative’ approaches are entering the research mix.” Triangulation allows complexity and multiple perspectives which, when reduced and interpreted strategically, can lead to novel insight and breakthrough results. The workshop is communicating that when semiotics is a key part of a mixed methods approach involving two other methodologies, the context is grounded in consumer reality, as opposed to just doing a semiotic analysis of a phenomenon. Here’s a link to Semiofest 2017’s post-conference workshop: The image for the blog post is from Daniel Chandler’s article on Semiotics for Beginners discovered on a Canadian site exploring semiotics.