Different Types Of Research

Research is the systematic, rigorous investigation of a situation or problem in order to generate new knowledge or validate existing knowledge.

Qualitative and Quantitative research

All research can be classified into two groups: qualitative and quantitative research

Qualitative research deals with phenomena that are difficult or impossible to quantify mathematically, such as beliefs, meanings, attributes, and symbols. Qualitative research investigates the why and how of decision making, not just the what, where and when.

Quantitative research refers to the systematic empirical investigation of any phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques. It can include the generation of models, theories and hypotheses; the development of instruments and methods for measurement; experimental control and manipulation of variables; collection of empirical data; modelling and analysis of data and evaluation of results.

Applied research

Refers to scientific study and research that seeks to solve practical problems and develop innovative technologies, rather than to acquire knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Applied researchers may investigate ways to improve agricultural crop production, cure illness or improve the energy efficiency of homes.

Basic (also known as fundamental or pure) research

The main motivation is to expand knowledge, rather than to create or invent something. Basic research rarely has an obvious commercial value to the discoveries made.

Correlational research

Refers to the systematic investigation or statistical study of relationships among two or more variables, without necessarily determining cause and effect. It seeks to establish an association between two or more variables that do not readily lend themselves to experimental manipulation. For example, the hypothesis “Owning a cat lowers blood pressure levels”.

The research is either experimental or survey types. Experimental research uses group samples, one group plays with cats and one group does not (an experimental group and a control group). Then compare the blood pressure levels. The second method is a survey asking people how they feel and then compare results.

Descriptive or Statistical research

Research that provides an accurate portrayal of characteristics of a particular individual, situation, or group. Descriptive research deals with everything that can be counted and studied and is used to describe only. No conclusions can be drawn from this type of research since it does not identify cause behind a phenomenon.

Ethnographic research

Refers to the investigation of a culture through an in-depth study of the members of the culture in an attempt to understand what is happening naturally in the setting.

Exploratory research

These types of research are conducted for a problem that is unclearly defined. The results of exploratory research are not usually useful for decision-making by themselves, but they can provide significant insight into a given situation.

Grounded theory research

An approach designed to discover what types of problems exist in a given social environment and how the persons involved handle them, almost in a reverse pattern from traditional research.

Historical research

Analysis of events that occurred in the past to show patterns that occurred over time and to see what kinds of solutions were used then. This gives a better context for making realistic decisions today.

Phenomenological research

Aims to describe an experience as it is actually lived by the person. They are powerful for understanding subjective experience, gaining insights into people’s motivations and actions.