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Vindicating Methodological Triangulation

Heesen, Remco and Bright, Liam Kofi and Zucker, Andrew (2014) Vindicating Methodological Triangulation. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Social scientists use many different methods, and there are often substantial disagreements about which method is appropriate for a given research question. A proponent of methodological triangulation believes that if multiple methods yield the same answer that answer is confirmed more strongly than it could have been by any single method. Methodological purists, on the other hand, believe that one should choose a single appropriate method and stick with it. Using formal tools from voting theory, we show that triangulation is more likely to lead to the correct answer than purism, assuming the scientist is subject to some degree of diffidence about the relative merits of the various methods. This is true even when in fact only one of the methods is appropriate for the given research question.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Heesen, Remcorheesen@andrew.cmu.edu
Bright, Liam Kofilbright@andrew.cmu.edu
Zucker, Andrewandrewz@andrew.cmu.edu
Keywords: Philosophy of social science, Methodological triangulation, Formal epistemology, Voting theory
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology and Archaeology
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Economics
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Depositing User: Remco Heesen
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2014 21:55
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2014 21:55
Item ID: 11158
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology and Archaeology
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Economics
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Date: 18 November 2014
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11158

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