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Research Methods | Definitions, Types, Examples

Updated: 3 days ago

Research is simply defined as the careful observation, investigation, or inquiry about anything through the new facts and figures in any field of study or life. 


The definition of Research can vary from the author's point of view but the exact meaning remains the same. It can be very simple to very complex depending upon the level of observation and investigation. It can vary from one field to another. 


You can visit the link to see the different definitions of research to understand research in a better way. 


What is the basic purpose of research?


The purpose of conducting research includes:

  • To identify new problem/ research question

  • Understand the existing problem

  • Set the research objective 

  • Helps to develop strategies to solve the existing problem

  • Helps to apply the techniques and solve the existing situation


Characteristics of Research


The characteristics of a good research includes


  • Systematic Approach to gather accurate data

  • Logical reasoning 

  • Real-time data and information about the research question

  • In Depth analysis of collected information

  • Accuracy of all the data collected and analysed


Research Methods 


Research methods are specific procedures and processes that are used to conduct research in any field. Before conducting research it is necessary to develop a research methodology to undergo research. 

While developing research methods for your research you must have these two key points in your mind. 


  1. Data Collection 

  2. Data analysis


What type of data you will collect and how it will be analysed will help you solve your research problem.


Types of Research Methods 


Depending upon the nature of the Research there are different types of Research methods. Having understanding and  extensive knowledge about the types of Research methods help the researcher to develop better methodologies and techniques to undergo their respective research.


This type of research describes mainly what is going on. The main objective of this research is to describe the situation or the phenomena. It answers the questions like what, when, where, why and how.

Several individual approaches comes under the umbrella of Descriptive research:


1- Observational research 


It involves the observations of something very deeply in the environment.  It is the technique in which researchers observe the ongoing behavior in the natural situation. 


2- Case study


It involves the in depth analysis of any individual person, small or large group of people or any event to understand the ongoing situation.


3- Surveys


Survey research is also a form of descriptive research. It can be performed in the form of questionnaires, or  interviews. 


Questionnaire includes a set of compiled questions which research asks from the people to observe the situation. Number and the types of questions in any questionnaire vary from research to research and from area to area.


If the researcher is asking a lot of open ended questions from the public then it will be called as interviews. If a lot of people are answering the questions in a group then it will be a focus group.


Another important point of research that must be considered under descriptive research includes: Qualitative research vs Quantitative research. Descriptive research can be both quantitative as well as qualitative. 


As the name indicates, quantitative research involves the measurements of particular quantities or specific amounts of data collected. It involves the collection of numerical data to make certain predictions. 


Quantitative research is a data-driven approach that relies on numerical data and employs tables, graphs, and statistics to draw conclusions. Unlike qualitative research, the outcomes of quantitative research are measurable and reproducible. This method is predominantly used in scientific and field-based studies.


Quantitative research typically involves large sample sizes, allowing for a high degree of accuracy and reliability in the findings. This approach can be used in various types of research, including descriptive, correlational, and experimental studies.


Qualitative research involves collecting data through conversational techniques, often using open-ended questions. The data gathered through this method is typically non-numerical, allowing researchers to gain insights into participants' thoughts and the reasons behind their perspectives.


This research method is valuable for understanding the underlying motivations and feelings that drive participants' behaviours and opinions.


Recommended Blog : 5 Definitions of Research



Mixed research, also known as mixed methods research, is an approach that combines both qualitative and quantitative research methods within a single study or a series of studies. This method research leverages the strengths of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the research problem.



Experimental research is a scientific method used to investigate and establish cause-and-effect relationships between variables. This type of research method involves manipulating one variable (the independent variable) to determine its effect on another variable (the dependent variable) while controlling for extraneous variables.


The goal is to observe the changes that occur as a result of this manipulation to draw conclusions about causal relationships.


For Example; in scientific research scientists perform lab experiments and then compile results for analysis. 


A non-systematic approach to solving particular research challenges or issues is called applied research. These concerns or problems may arise at the level of the person, the community, or society. Because it jumps right into solving problems, it is referred to as "non-systematic."


As it makes use of the existing scientific tools and applies them to obtain solutions, it is frequently referred to as a "scientific process."


For Example; Research on how to improve the health situation in any locality. Or study on how to improve the literacy rate in a population. 


Research that focuses on creating hypotheses and comprehending natural phenomena is referred to as fundamental research, basic research, or pure research. This research method aims to improve current ideas in disciplines like physics, psychology, and education as well as uncover new knowledge with wide-ranging implications.


Examples include research on broad human behavior or pure mathematics. Basic research in psychology sheds light on behaviors such as how caffeine impacts students' attention spans or how sadness might be triggered by cultural prejudices.


The fundamental definition of conceptual research is a methodology that involves monitoring and analyzing the information that is currently available on a given issue. It excludes conducting any kind of real-world experimentation.


Example 

For example observations of something surrounding to conceptualize a new theory. One of the best examples of conceptual research is Sir Isaac Newton as he formulated the theory of gravity and motion. 





FAQs


What are the example of quantitative research ?


As the name indicate the quantity of something in exact amount or quantity. This type of research may covers the questions i.e how much , how many, and how often etc. For examples number of students present in classroom, number patients visit a doctor. etc


What is meant by research methods?


Research methods are the strategies and procedures that are involved in any scientific process to conduct any type of research to uncover the hidden evidences.


What are two major types of research methods?

Two major types of research methods includes:

Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research


What are the common methods of research?

The common research methods includes:

Surveys

Interview

Focus Group

Experiments

Secondary data analysis

Mixed methods


What is a research technique?


Research techniques involve the different research methods that are used to conduct different types of research. it refers to a specific process that is used to collect data analyze, or interpret data in a research study.









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