Types of Research

Original Editor - Sai Kripa Top Contributors - Sai Kripa, Angeliki Chorti and Kim Jackson

Introduction[edit | edit source]

There are various established methods used in research to investigate a problem or research in question. It plays a vital role for the researchers to prove the hypothesis based on clearly defined parameters, environments and assumptions. Understanding and having a deep knowledge about the types of research can help the researchers to better plan the project by utilizing the most appropriate methodologies and techniques. [1][2]

Types of Research[edit | edit source]

  • Applied Research
  • Basic Research
  • Correlational Research
  • Descriptive Research
  • Ethnographic Research
  • Experimental Research
  • Exploratory Research
  • Grounded Theory
  • Historical Research
  • Phenomenological Research
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quantitative Research [1] [2]


Applied Research[edit | edit source]

It is a scientific study that seek to solve various practical problems in the day to day life. It find answers or solutions to everyday problems, cure illness, develop innovative technologies etc.

For example-

  1. Improve agricultural crop production
  2. Treat or cure specific disease
  3. Improve energy efficiency of homes, offices, modes of transportation [1] [2]

Basic Research[edit | edit source]

It is called as Fundamental or Pure research. It Expands the person's knowledge. This type of research is not going to create or invent anything new. Instead, it is based on Basic science investigation.

For example-

  1. How did universe begin?
  2. What are protons? [1][2]

Correlational Research[edit | edit source]

The relationship among 2 or more variables without necessarily determining the cause and effect is known as correlational research.

For example-

  1. Correlation between obesity and diabetes mellitus
  2. Correlation between smoking and cancer [1][2]


  1. It is easy to collect much information from many subjects at single time.
  2. Wide range of variables and their interrelations.
  3. Study variables are not easily produced in the laboratory.


  1. Does not indicate causation (cause and effect)
  2. Problems with self reporting method. [1]

Descriptive Research[edit | edit source]

This type of research provides accurate portrayal of characteristics of a particular individual, situation or group. Also known as statistical research. It deals with everything that can be counted and studied which have an impact on the lives of people.


  1. Less expensive, time consuming
  2. Collect a large amount of notes for detailed studying.


  1. Require more skills
  2. Does not identify cause behind the research. [2][1]

Ethnographic Research[edit | edit source]

This type of research involves investigation of a culture through an in-depth study of members of culture. It involves systematic collection, description, analysis of data for development of theories of cultural behavior. There are anthropological studies that studies people, ethnic group, ethnic formations and social welfare characteristics. It is done on the basis of observations, interviews, questionnaire and data collection.[2]

Experimental Research[edit | edit source]

This study involves objective, systematic, controlled investigation for purpose of predicting and controlling the phenomena. It also includes examining the probability and causality among variables.


  1. Best in establishing the cause and effect relationships


  1. Artificiality
  2. Feasibility
  3. Unethical


There will be two variables- Dependent and Independent [1]

Exploratory Research[edit | edit source]

This type of research will be conducted for a problem that has not been clearly defined. It helps to determine the best research design, data collection method and selection of subjects. It is quite informal relying on the secondary research.

For Example-

Online marketing and exploring through different sites [1][2]

Ground Theory Research[edit | edit source]

It studies about the problems existing in a given social environment and how people involved handles them. It operates almost in a reverse fashion from traditional research and involves 4 stages- Codes, Concepts, Categories and Theory

For Example-

Creating a situation and looking at how people react to it[2]

Historical Research[edit | edit source]

Research involving analysis of events that occurred in the remote or recent past.

Application- Understanding this can add perspective on how we can examine the current situation. [1]

Phenomenological Research[edit | edit source]

It aim to describe an experience that has been actually lived by a person.

For example-

A person suffering from cancer, quality of life of the patient at that point of time. [1][2]

Quantitative Research[edit | edit source]

Involving numbers and quantifying the results mathematically in numbers. [1] For more information, click in the Quantitative Research page.

Qualitative Research[edit | edit source]

Difficult or impossible to quantify mathematically such as beliefs, meanings, attributes and symbols. It aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior. [1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 C.R.Kothari. Research Methodology : Methods And Techniques. Fourth edition. New Age International Publishers, 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Sharma Suresh. Research Methodology & Biostatistics. First edition. Elsevier India. 2016
  3. Availble from:PHILO-notes.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEZjwlDNEHY. Types of Research {last accessed 5 Jan 2023}