Types of Social Research

  • Fundamental and Applied Research  

Fundamental Research:

Fundamental research is also called pure or basic research. It is conducted with the objective to the development of theory. It focuses on adding new knowledge, discovers new facts which help for the development of theories. Therefore, the sole objectives of conducting the research is an improvement of understanding or discovering of fundamental knowledge. The knowledge gain form fundamental research may not have immediate application in the field but provide a fundamental basis for the development of theory. It may conduct to any problems, issues that the researcher tries to explore the knowledge to develop theory.

Applied Research:

Applied research is also called practical research. It is conducted to provide the solution of an existing problem which needs a solution.  It is carried with the main aim of solving existing problems or to improve the knowledge which has immediate application. It provides fruitful knowledge for the decision maker to solve the existing problem. In this research important social problems, issues with need immediate solution.

Quantitative and Qualitative Research

Quantitative Research:

Quantitative research focuses on the use of numerical data.  In quantitative research, the collected data are analyzed using tables or charts of figures, histograms, or statistics. It focuses on  “quantities” rather than quality which are about counting or measuring events or phenomena. the main feature of quantitative research is it focus on collection of numerical data using relative large sample size. The research is very much associated with the positive approach where the deductive reason is followed. In the research, the statistical calculations like Linear regression analysis, log regression, simulation, general linear model, etc. as per the need of research objectives. normally quantitative research start with theory for the formulation of hypothesis.

Qualitative Research:

Qualitative research, on the other hand, consists either written or spoken words as data which is normally qualitative in nature. The research focuses on “quality” nature of data which are very in the experience of respondents. the participants get the wider area to express their feeling, experience, experience about the subject matter of research. in qualitative research non-probability sampling method is used using few sample size. it used various approach for the interpretation of data.

Most exploratory research is qualitative research. Qualitative research methods are connected with an interpretive approach. 

  • Empirical Vs Theoretical research

Empirical research use the principle of empiricism. It focusing on gaining knowledge from observation and experience rather than theory or abstraction. It use direct and indirect observation or experience to gain knowledge.  Inductive method is widely use in research methods and some flexible research design is use as methodology. It is generally perform to clarify, test and develop the theory.

Theoretical research,on other hand, focus on gaining knowledge through logical exploration of interdependence of research variables. Some assumption or abstracts are developed at early stage of research before collecting data. Rigid research design is used in research. it is normally explanatory in nature and lead to gain knowledge by developing some theory.  Researcher does not directly observe the research object in this research types since the aim of the research is to define and outline the conceptual explanation using research literature.

The important part of empirical and theoretical research types are they act as complement and need both types according to context, time and level of available knowledge.

  • Exploratory Research

If the researcher does not have the knowledge or only have little knowledge about the subject matter under investigation then s/he conduct exploratory research. The main aim of Exploratory research is to explore new facts or information. Feasibility study or pilot studies are the example of exploratory research.

  • Descriptive research

Descriptive research describes the link between independent and dependent variables. It describes a situation, problem, phenomenon, service, program etc. in a systematic way. It aims to answer the question of how, when, where, etc.

Explanatory Research

This research explains why the situation or issues are occurring.  The research explains the relationship between cause and effect with the help of collected information.

  • correlation research

In this method, the researcher has to define the variables and find the relationships between dependent and independent variables.

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