The types of research:



Really there is no single generally agreed classification of types of research. Different types of research are identifiable depending on the approach to thestudy. While some authors classify research in terms of the physical and social environment in which the study is carried out, others classify it in terms of the nature of information obtained from the studies or according to the discipline of study.
From the first group we hear of:
  • Laboratory experiments
  • Field experiments
  • Survey research
In the second group we come across.
  • Basic or pure research
  • Applied research
  • Historical research
  • Description research
  • Experimental research
  • Social survey
  • Educational research
  • Marketing research
Every branch of learning had its own special method of discovering knowledge. In the science the method of research are very exact. Scientists have developed very accurate tools such as electronic microscopes and computers. But the social science, which study how and why people act as they do, do not have such accurate instruments.

Research in these areas is fairly a new development. The need to apply scientific thinking and processes is still obvious and desirable. While we may discuss the various types of research. Some in passing, our attention will be focused on categorizing research as follows;

11 types of research:

1. Basic research;

This is also referred to as pure or fundamental research. It is usually concerned with the theoretical aspect of science and only indirectly interested in the practical application which these finding may have.

Basic or pure research is aimed at different more about the laws of nature, including human nature. It may also be interested in discovering or confirming basic truths or principles. In it,the researcher pushes into unknown,often with very little idea of what lies ahead. He may not bother or care whether the knowledge he uncovers is useful in any practical sense or not. He may not also be immediately concerned with direct field application of the developed theory or findings. His primary concern is to add to human knowledge and satisfy his curiosity about a problem situation. He get his satisfaction when such findings or discoveries are credited to him and are quoted in the reference of the works of other authors.

Most researchers carried out by students which are meant to satisfy requirements for the award of diplomas and degree fall into this category. So also are researches carried out by curious minds and people who are interested in adding to human knowledge in general. For instance, a curious person may decide to find out why some birds migrate, or how people from Africa manage to settle in America and it environs.

2. Applied research;

This is also commonly referred to as field research. Unlike basic research, applied research is concerned with the practical application of science as well as with it's theory. It is aimed at a practical goal. The research sets out to discover or invent new and useful products or better ways of doing things. For instance, when John Hyatt discovered the synthetic plastic in about 1869, he had eventually paved the way for todays enormous Plastic industry. The distinction between basic and applied research was established in the first half of the twentieth century. Basic research has been defined as the work o scientists and other researchers who pursue their investigations without conscious goals, apart from the desire to unravel the secret of nature. Applied research,on the other hand, carries the findings to basic research to point at which they can be exploited to meet a specific need. In doing so, the findings, ideas, or knowledge from basic research may be utilized as a raw material,or the initial input or foundation.

We must note, however, that both basic researchers and applied researchers work hand in hand. One thing must be stated, and that is that both are essential in the sense that they all lead to the solution of man's problems and the widening of his horizon.

3. Historical research;

Historical research is concerned with what was and uses it to compare with what is. That is, the past and the present. It digs into the past, compares it with the present and uses the knowledge to predict the future. In it the researcher examines available records in order to arrival to conclusions on how far events affected or influenced the behavior of past generations. He may use written documents,oral tradition or interviews for the research. It's main aim is to use historical facts to solve problems in the field in which the research is conducted.

4. Descriptive research;

Descriptive research describes and interprets existing phenomenon. It seeks to find out existing conditions or relationship, opinions that are held , process that are going on, effects that are evident or trends that are developing. Descriptive research is often times known as no experimental research and can further be classified into the following categories:
  • Survey research
  • Correlation studies
  • Case studies
  • Ex- post- facto studies
  • Development studies

5. Survey research;

This is a research in which a population may be studied by collecting and analyzing data from a sample of the population considered to be representive. Using result if the sample , a generalization is made on the population of study. In conducting a survey, the researcher utilise instrument like questionares, interview and observation to collect data. Many social researchers fall into this category of research and most of them involve opinion polls.

Correlation studies;

This type of research seeks to established the relationships that exist between two or more variables. The statistical theory of correlation is the main tool utilised to established such relationships. This however indicate if a linear relationship exist or not but does not established causion.

6. Ex-post-facto research;

The term" ex-post-facto" is used to refer to study in which the researcher examines the effect of a naturalistically occurring treatment after the treatment has occurred rather than creating the treatment himself. In such a research the person carrying it out is confronted with a problem where he has no control over certain factors. These factors. These factors are already existing and have arranged themselves naturally. The researcher has no control over them or cannot manipulate them. For instance, researcher may be interested in studying the influence relationship, school type and school location on career choice of students

7. Development research;

This type of research involves the investigation of patterns and sequence of growth or changes that take place as a function of time. It seeks to find out how dimention, variable or characteristics of given population change with time.

A development research can be longitudinal or cross-section. In longitudinal research the same group of objects are studied over a given period of time. Within this period the subject are observed periodically for any changes in the particular characteristics of interest to the researcher. On the other hand , in cross-section studies large groups of peolpe or subjects are assessed on a particular variable at a given time rather than looking at how they change on the selected variable over a long period of time.

8. Experimental research;

Experimental research are concerned with causes of problems and phenomena. The establish effects of the manipulation of variables subjects under investigation. The variables are controlled isolated in such a way that the effects observed can be attributed to the influence of such manipulation rather than to some other uncontrolled or unidentifiable influences.

The approach is Usually scientific and may involve laboratory setting for observation. Medical and agricultural studies mostly fall into this category in medical for example patients can be isolated and used as guinea pigs for testing the efficacy of new drugs or to find out which is better between two brand of drugs.
The study can eqaully be applied in non laboratory setting when significant factors of variables can be controlled to some degree. For example, the effectiveness of two or more teaching method can be studied experimentally. A class of say forth students can be divided into four equal groups of ten each , labelled A, B, C and D. Group A can be taught a subject in a classroom setting with the teacher seen live and direct. Group B can be taught through recorded videocassettes , group C thaught throith audio cassette and group D through handouts. The same examination administered on all the students at the same time. If this is done some period for many groups of students, the pattern of scores will be suggestive and can be pointer for reliable conclusion.

9. Social research;

This category of research is broad and includes studies the filled of sociology, anthropology, psychology,etc. It involves studies human beings and how they behave at different situations. A study on attitude of students towards the use of condoms is good example of social research.

10. Education research;

This is a systematic and scholarly application of the scientific method , interpreted in the broadcast sense to the solution of educational problems. Generally speaking any systematically designed research for the promotion of the development of education as a science can be regarded as an educational research. Educational researchers are aimed at providing educationist with effective means of attaining worth while educational goals.

11. Market research;

Why do people buy ? What prompts consumers to buy certain goods and not others? Why do people prefer certain brands of products like bear and soft drinks to others ? What can be done to capture or retain the market for the sales of a product by a manufacturer? These and many more similar questions that have to do with marketing, sales and general merchandise can be answered through market research or sales researches.

Market research are useful in business for the promotion of sales and can assist manufacturers to survive in a world of competition. A market research or survey can reveal to a manufacturer. What makes people prefer other products to his or vise versa.
A market or sales research may involves surveys or opinion polls using sales agents as enumerators. During such surveys, sample or specimen products can be distributed to potential customers to test the market. 

Also read: The research process and it's characteristics

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