What is Research?

What is Research: Definition

Careful consideration of the study regarding a particular concern or problem using scientific methods. According to the American sociologist Earl Robert Babbie, “Research is a systematic inquiry to describe, explain, predict, and control the observed phenomenon. Research involves inductive and deductive methods.”

Inductive research methods are used to analyze an observed event. Deductive methods are used to verify the observed event. Inductive approaches are associated with qualitative research and deductive methods are more commonly associated with quantitative research.

Research is conducted with a purpose to understand:

  • What do organizations or businesses really want to find out?
  • What are the processes that need to be followed to chase the idea?
  • What are the arguments that need to be built around a concept?
  • What is the evidence that will be required for people to believe in the idea or concept?

Characteristics of research

  1. A systematic approach must be followed for accurate data. Rules and procedures are an integral part of the process that sets the objective. Researchers need to practice ethics and a code of conduct while making observations or drawing conclusions.
  2. Research is based on logical reasoning and involves both inductive and deductive methods.
  3. The data or knowledge that is derived is in real-time from actual observations in natural settings.
  4. There is an in-depth analysis of all data collected so that there are no anomalies associated with it.
  5. Research creates a path for generating new questions. Existing data helps create more opportunities for research.
  6. Research is analytical in nature. It makes use of all the available data so that there is no ambiguity in inference.
  7. Accuracy is one of the most important aspects of research. The information that is obtained should be accurate and true to its nature. For example, laboratories provide a controlled environment to collect data. Accuracy is measured in the instruments used, the calibrations of instruments or tools, and the final result of the experiment.

What are the types of research?

Following are the types of research methods:

Basic research: A basic research definition is data collected to enhance knowledge. The main motivation is knowledge expansion. It is non-commercial research that doesn’t facilitate in creating or inventing anything. For example, an experiment to determine a simple fact.

Applied research: Applied research focuses on analyzing and solving real-life problems. This type refers to the study that helps solve practical problems using scientific methods. Studies play an important role in solving issues that impact the overall well-being of humans. For example: finding a specific cure for a disease.

Problem-oriented research: As the name suggests, problem-oriented research is conducted to understand the exact nature of a problem to find out relevant solutions. The term “problem” refers to multiple choices or issues when analyzing a situation.

For example, the revenue of a car company has decreased by 12% in the last year. The following could be the probable causes: there is no optimum production, poor quality of a product, no advertising, or economic conditions.

Problem-solving research: This type of research is conducted by companies to understand and resolve their own problems. The problem-solving method uses applied research to find solutions to existing problems.

Qualitative research: Qualitative research is a process that is about the inquiry. It helps create an in-depth understanding of problems or issues in their natural settings. This is a non-statistical method.

Qualitative research is heavily dependent on the experience of the researchers and the questions used to probe the sample. The sample size is usually restricted to 6-10 people. Open-ended questions are asked in a manner that encourages answers that lead to another question or group of questions. The purpose of asking open-ended questions is to gather as much information as possible from the sample.

Quantitative research: Qualitative research is a structured way of collecting data and analyzing it to draw conclusions. Unlike qualitative methods, this method uses a computational and statistical process to collect and analyze data. Quantitative data is all about numbers.

Quantitative research involves a larger population — more people means more data. With more data to analyze, you can obtain more accurate results. This method uses closed-ended questions because the researchers are typically looking to gather statistical data.

Online surveys, questionnaires, and polls are preferable data collection tools used in quantitative research. There are various methods of deploying surveys or questionnaires.

Online surveys allow survey creators to reach large amounts of people or smaller focus groups for different types of research that meet different goals. Survey respondents can receive surveys on mobile phones, in emails, or can simply use the internet to access surveys.

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