Research is the systematic and organized investigation of a specific topic in order to increase understanding and knowledge about it. It involves gathering and analyzing data, formulating hypotheses or theories, and presenting findings in a clear and concise manner. Research is often used in academia, business, and government to inform decision-making and solve problems. There are many different methods of research, including qualitative research, quantitative research, and mixed methods research. The goal of research is to advance knowledge and understanding in a particular field or topic, and to contribute to the development of new ideas and theories
There are several types of research that can be conducted, depending on the goals and objectives of the study. Some common types of research include:
Basic research: Also known as fundamental or pure research, this type of research is focused on increasing our understanding of a particular phenomenon or concept. It is often conducted in academia and does not have a specific practical application.
Applied research: This type of research is focused on finding solutions to real-world problems or developing new technologies or products. It is often conducted in industry or government settings.
Experimental research: This type of research involves manipulating one or more variables in order to test the effects on a particular outcome. It is often used in the natural and social sciences.
Observational research: This type of research involves collecting data by observing and recording the behaviors and characteristics of a particular group or population.
Qualitative research: This type of research involves collecting and analyzing data in the form of words, images, or sounds, rather than numbers. It is often used to gain a deeper understanding of people's experiences and perspectives.
Quantitative research: This type of research involves collecting and analyzing data in the form of numbers, often using statistical methods. It is often used to test hypotheses and make predictions about the relationships between variables.
Mixed methods research: This type of research combines both qualitative and quantitative methods in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a research question.
Quantitative research is factual, so it is empirical. Moreover, the data generated in this process is numerical, which allows to establish an executive relationship between the various characteristics of the studied event.
The general purpose of quantitative research is to quantify what is happening and to arrive at specific, observable, general, and repeatable conclusions.
There are four main techniques in quantitative research: surveying, correlation studies, causal-comparative, and experimental.
In this technique data is obtained through questionnaire. This tool is designed to measure the characteristics of a population through the use of statistical methods.
Research through the survey begins with the design of the questionnaire according to the set objective; It then determines how the questionnaire will be administered - that is, how the information is collected - and how the data is analyzed.
These studies allow to determine the degree of correlation between two or more variables in a population (or sample). The degree of these relationships is estimated using factual methods, which make it possible to establish whether the relationship between the variables is positive or negative.
An example of a positive relationship between the two variables would be: an increase in the incidence of infection (variable 1) with an increase in the degree of malnutrition in the population (variable 2). In this case it is positive because both variables increase.
On the other hand, an example of a negative correlation in the study would be: Decrease in maternal malnutrition (reduction 1) with increasing maternal level of knowledge about the importance of breastfeeding. In this example, the relationship is negative because increasing one variable decreases another (variable 2).
These studies seek to find the cause and effect relationship, which is achieved by establishing the effect of time and cause. For these reasons, comparative causal studies are classified into retrospective research and probabilistic research.
Retrospective research requires an investigator to analyze the problem when the effects have already occurred. For example, a teacher evaluates how his students respond to assigned activities in a math class.
As far as possible research begins before the events, that is, it starts with the causes and tries to evaluate the effects. For example, a teacher begins to implement a new reading strategy and evaluates the student's progress.
One of the characteristics of experimental studies is that they are guided by preconceived notions. That is, they begin with a statement that must be approved or refuted.
In this way, the researcher controls certain variables and evaluates the effects of this control on the population or sample studied. In this way, the hypothesis can be verified or rejected, which makes it possible to reach a conclusion about two variables.
- Qualitative research
The main purpose of qualitative research is to understand and explain social interactions; In this way, it results in settings, details of individuals and communities.
In contrast to quantitative methods, the context in which qualitative technology is researched is more important; For this they give a natural and human perspective.
They are especially useful when the research topic is sensitive or the subject of social problems that are needed to develop confidence in the population being studied.
In qualitative research there are many methods and techniques: observation, bibliographic research, ethnographic studies, chronology studies, basic theories, story and visual genres, and case studies.
Observation is a qualitative technique where scientists or researchers are present to obtain information on a particular event, situation or environment. It is used at the beginning of an investigation or when you do not have much information about a particular event.
Exploration is a fundamental element throughout the research process, as the investigator relies on it to obtain the maximum amount of data.
There are different forms of observation:
Participant observation is one in which, in order to obtain results, the researcher must be included in the object of study (group, fact or event).
Non-participant observation, on the other hand, involves one in which the investigator selects data from outside without interfering with the social group or object. Because of this, most scientific observations are undivided.
Bibliographic research is a research technique that is responsible for investigating what is written about a particular topic or problem in the scientific community. Typically, bibliographic research does the following:
- Supports and supports the investigation.
- Stop the development of research that has already been done.
- Allow knowledge about previously developed experiments to be repeated if necessary to repeat the same steps.
- Contribute to the continuation of previous research that ended or was not completed in the past.
- Facilitate collection of relevant information and establishment of theoretical framework.
Ethnographic studies are used when you want to explore human behavior patterns, dogmas, habits, conditions and ways of life.
These studies can be done in very diverse groups, such as in different ethnic groups in a region or in an organized group of professionals. In both cases there are behaviors, beliefs and attitudes that form the cultural unit.
The study of phenomenology
This type of qualitative study is based on the analysis of human daily experiences. Through this technology, researchers try to understand the meaning of humans for their problems and difficulties.
This qualitative research method builds theory from data. In other words, the starting point for this research technique is data, not theory.
Basic principles are used not only in the social sciences, but also in healthcare research, nursing studies, and education. For example, assessment of a patient's symptoms and signs determines the initial steps in disease control.
Story and visual genres
Storytelling focuses on how people tell their stories in order to reveal how their events and situations make sense. On the other hand, the visual method involves asking research people to report the problem through group design of maps, drawings or other images.
For example, participants can draw a picture of their community in risky places or in places where buildings or other facilities may exist.
Visual health methods are widely used in public health, such as when community members are asked to describe how and where a certain skin infection affects them.
It provides researchers with an understanding of the popular concept of health and allows health professionals to implement intervention, treatment and prevention measures.
This technique involves in-depth testing of a single individual or individual entity. The main goal of the case study is to provide as accurate a representation of the person being studied as possible.
It is widely used in the field of psychology when the case studied is complex and requires special attention. For these reasons, this study includes an in-depth interview of the technique and a detailed review of the entire patient history.
The personality of the case study leads the researcher to take a deeper understanding of the problem to be studied, as it provides an opportunity for in-depth analysis of many specific details.An example of the use of research technology
- An example of this would be the evaluation of the level of knowledge of adolescent mothers about the importance of breastfeeding. These data are expressed as a percentage (%).
- A correlated study determines the relationship between measles vaccination in children and the number of cases of the disease.
- A causal-comparative study was performed to determine factors such as a childhood obesity, such as sedentary lifestyle, ultra-processed foods or genetic ingestion.
- An example experimental study can evaluate the effect of pesticides on the growth of this fumigated plant. For this, the researcher selects or controls the concentrations of pesticides and evaluates their effects on the growth of plants and fruits.
- An example observation is waiting in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest to see what the jaguar's breeding behavior is.
- A Bibliographic Research Researching in an online database is about what revelations are made about certain species of bats.
- A case study will evaluate women's perceptions of obesity problems. In this case - through the analysis of their experiences and beliefs - the existence of problem-related psychological discomfort with social acceptance or anxiety control can be established.
- An Ethnographic Study It will take many months to live with a Borneo tribe, to learn about their customs, traditions and common culture.
- A basic principle is one that an economist describes in a company's viability such as data-based profits, expenses, competition or external risks, among others.