What are different types of research? | Research Methodology

types of research

What are different types of research?

The goal of the types of research is to generate new knowledge about an issue or question by applying well-established procedures.

Because it lets researchers confirm or disprove ideas based on explicitly defined parameters, surroundings, and assumptions, it is a critical tool for scientific growth. Our study can be validated and duplicated, allowing us to contribute to knowledge with confidence.

A greater understanding of the many types of research and what each one focuses on can help you better organize your project, employ the most relevant methodology, and better communicate your findings to other researchers and supervisors.

What is Classification of Types of Research

Types of Research-PhD, MPhil-Dr. Sandhu-BMR

Different sorts of research are categorized according to their purpose, the depth of the study, the information that was analyzed, the amount of time that was required to study the phenomenon, and other variables. Please keep in mind that a research project will not be confined to one sort of research, but will most likely employ a number of different types.


types of research
types of research

Theoretical Research

As opposed to applied or applied research that focuses on the practical application of findings, theoretical research, also known as pure or basic research, focuses on generating new knowledge. Rather than attempting to answer a specific research question, data collection is being used to generate new general concepts.

For the most part, these kinds of findings are used to develop theories and are based on in-depth research conducted by top-tier academics, document analysis, and mathematical formula development.

There are many examples of this type of research that do not take into account how the findings of the research can be applied or implemented in the real world.

Applied Research

Finding ways to solve a specific problem is the goal of this exercise. When theory is used to generate practical scientific knowledge, applied research is a common practice in STEM fields like engineering, computer science, and medicine.

ALSO READ: What is Research: Definition, Methods, Types

Two types of research fall under this umbrella:

Technological applied research: efficiency in a particular productive sector by improving processes or machinery related to these production processes.

Scientific applied research: aims to predict the future. For example, we can measure consumption patterns and the viability of commercial projects by using this type of research design to gather information.

Furthermore, market research can help to develop new products and marketing campaigns by looking at consumption patterns.


types of research
types of research

Exploratory Research: It is used to conduct preliminary research on subjects that have not yet been thoroughly studied or researched. To begin with, it provides a framework and a hypothesis from which an in-depth study can be developed that will lead to conclusive conclusions.

Observation and data collection are more important than theory in exploratory research because it focuses on previously unexplored phenomena.

Research into how social media affects one’s self-esteem, for example.

Descriptive Research: Describing characteristics is the primary goal of descriptive research, which does not necessarily investigate the causes of a given phenomenon

Researchers must be careful not to interfere with the observed object or phenomenon, as its behavior may change if an external factor is present.

Investigating, for example, the differences between urban and non-urban areas in the public census of influential government officials.

Explanatory Research: A common type of research, explanatory, is responsible for establishing cause and effect relationships that can be applied to other situations. An object is observed and its interactions with the surrounding environment are studied in this type of research.

As an example, a researcher might look into the brittle behavior of a particular material under compressive loads.

Correlational Research: The goal of this type of scientific investigation is to determine the nature of the relationship between two or more different variables. In order to determine whether or not a variable change, it is necessary to first determine how much the other elements of the observed system change.


types of research
types of research

Qualitative Research: When it comes to collecting, comparing, and interpreting information in the social sciences, qualitative methods are frequently used. Qualitative methods have a linguistic-semiotic foundation and can be found in techniques such as discourse analysis, interviews, surveys, records, and participant observation.

Observations collected must be numerically evaluated in order to use statistical methods to validate their results later on. Although qualitative research can be controlled to a certain extent, it is subject to interpretation. This type of research design is, therefore, better suited to extracting meaning from an event or phenomenon (the ‘why’) than it is to determine the cause of the event or phenomenon (the ‘how.’)

Examining the effects of sleep deprivation on one’s mood is one example.

Quantitative Research: Using quantitative data collection and measurement tools, quantitative research studies delve deeper into a phenomenon than other types of research studies, such as qualitative research. This enables the projection of generalized conclusions over time.

Examples include running a computer simulation on the effects of a vehicle collision in order to collect quantitative information.


Experimental Research: It is concerned with the design or replication of a phenomenon whose variables are manipulated under strictly controlled conditions in order to identify or discover its effect on another independent variable or object. The phenomenon to be studied is measured through the use of study and control groups, and in accordance with the guidelines of the scientific method.

For example, randomized controlled trials are used to determine the effectiveness of new pharmaceutical drugs on human subjects.

Non-Experimental Research: The term “observational study” refers to a research method that focuses on the analysis of a phenomenon in its natural environment. Thus, the researcher does not intervene directly in the study but rather restricts their involvement to measuring the variables that are required for the research. It is frequently used in descriptive research because of its observational nature.

It is possible to conduct a non-experimental study in a specific population group, such as a study on the effects of the use of certain chemical substances in that population group.

Quasi-Experimental Research: In order to be considered experimental, it must control only a subset of the variables affecting the phenomenon under investigation. In this case, the participants in the study and the focus group are not chosen at random, but rather are drawn from existing groups or populations. This is done in order to ensure that the data collected is relevant and that the knowledge, perspectives, and opinions of the general public can be incorporated into the research project.

Examples include determining the effectiveness of an intervention measure in terms of reducing the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, among other things.


Deductive Investigation: Reality is explained by general laws that point to certain conclusions, and these conclusions are expected to be part of the premise of the research problem and considered correct if the premise is valid and inductive methods are correctly applied.

Inductive Research: Knowledge is derived from observation in order to make generalizations. Developing new theories is based on the collection of data.

Hypothetical-Deductive Investigation: Based on observation and deduction, a hypothesis is formed, and the conclusion is verified or rejected through experimentation.


Longitudinal Study: Keeping track of the same person or group over time is called tracking. To see how they change over time, it monitors a number of variables. It is frequently employed in the fields of medicine, psychology, and sociology.

Cohort studies can be used to track changes in an indigenous population over a period of 20 years, for example.

Cross-Sectional Study: An individual or a group of research subjects can be observed using a cross-sectional research design.


Primary Research: First-hand information from the source, or primary data, defines this type of research as the most fundamental type of research.

Secondary research: Secondary research, on the other hand, relies on information from secondary sources, such as scientific literature and other documents compiled by another researcher, rather than conducting primary research.


Documentary: Using secondary sources, or a systematic review of existing sources of information on a given topic, is the basis of documentary research. Literature reviews and case studies both frequently employ this method of scientific investigation.

Field: When conducting field research, it is necessary to collect information directly from the site where the observed phenomenon takes place, which is known as direct collection.

Laboratory: An experiment in a lab is used to isolate a dependent variable and determine its relationship to other variables using scientific methods.

Mixed-Method: Documentary, Field, and/or Laboratory: Field and laboratory research are examples of mixed research methodologies, which combine results from both secondary (documentary) and primary sources.


We hope the article on types of research will help you to understand research dimensions well.

Best of luck and please comment for improvement.


  • Types of Research Methodology | Top 10 Types Types of Research. (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2021, from https://www.educba.com/types-of-research-methodology/
  • Types of Research. (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2021, from https://www.slideshare.net/vaisalik/types-of-research
  • Types of Research – Explained with Examples | DiscoverPhDs. (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2021, from https://www.discoverphds.com/blog/types-of-research

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