Academic research is a systematic and logical search for factual information that can be used for or applied to a specific topic. This is essential in scientific and non-scientific areas of study. There are always new questions and situations that happen each day and a practical approach for answering these questions with data-based information is required for coming up with implementable solutions.
This short article will explain the difference between applied and basic research which are the two main classes of research that exist. We’ll also answer a few more questions that students may have regarding choosing the right approach for a particular type of study while writing a methodology section.
What is Pure Research?
Pure research is also referred to as fundamental or basic research and it is a type of scientific study that is carried out to better understand an important concept in a field of study.
The pure research definition states that this kind of approach does not usually produce results that can be used for marketable or commercial goals but rather are meant to be used as a building block for other studies.
The improved understanding of particular phenomena advances the fundamental knowledge about the things that surround us. Scientists can develop sound theories about how the world works (or aspects within the world) and further ideas are developed and predictions can be made. In this way, it serves as a starting point from which developments made by applied research can be used to alter or intervene with some of the natural phenomena that occur in the world.
What is Applied Research?
The applied research definition states that this kind of approach takes existing scientific information to practical applications, including inventions and technology. It can also be used to develop processes or systems (e.g., physical training or classroom learning). Applied research solutions derive from the work of prior pure or basic research to achieve a particular result.
When it comes to pure vs applied research the latter may be considered to be an approach taken for the sake of curiosity. Questions like “How did the universe begin?” or “What does DNA tell us about evolution?” are the sort of inquiries that drive pure research.
Applied research focuses more on solving practical problems surrounding us today. It can be said that applied research is trying to improve the human state or condition.
What Are the Two Major Types of Applied Research?
The two major types of applied research are quantitative and qualitative.
Quantitative research is numerical, non-descriptive, and uses statistical or mathematical numbers that are evaluated and conclusive. It attempts to investigate the what, where, and when of the decision making process.
Qualitative research is non-numerical, descriptive, and utilizes words to apply to reason. It also focuses on trying to find meaning to describe the situation. It attempts to explore and how and the why of the decision making process.
Basic and applied research has its place in the science and medical fields. And it is essential students take the time to consider the kind of study they want to and should conduct. Most projects will take several months to complete so understanding the differences in basic research vs applied research can save students lots of time from having to start over if they don’t choose the right one.
What is Basic Research?
A person that conducts basic science research is somebody that is driven by the curiosity of something unknown. When this person’s inquiries bring about an understanding of what was previously unknown that person, according to the basic research definition, attains the respect and admiration of his peers because he or she has discovered something new. This type of research forms the basis of future studies, usually applied research, where solutions to modern problems or situations are sought after based on what was discovered through basic research.
How are Basic and Applied Research Similar?
So how are basic vs. applied research similar besides their relationship? Let’s start with applied research: it is used to find answers to specific inquiries that have direct applications to the world we live in. As mentioned earlier, basic research is driven solely by desire and curiosity to expand our understanding or knowledge of an unknown. When determining the kind of study one should conduct one must consider both the applied vs basic research. One is not particularly more difficult to the other; they simply take different approaches in information gathering and answer different questions.
Who is Lev Vygotsky?
Lev Vygotsky (Born on November 17, 1896, and Died on June 11, 1934) was a strongly influential Soviet psychologist who is best known for his work on the development of cognitive abilities in children. His work laid the foundation of the sociocultural theory which states that children are continuously learning by their social interactions with parents, family members, other adults, and their peers.
Lev Vygotsky’s research is best applied in classroom settings where teachers create a curriculum and atmosphere where children are encouraged to do activities on their own, work with others, and learn from a competent adult (e.g., a teacher or tutor). His work is a great way of explaining basic versus applied research. His approach and theories were an attempt to explain how children develop their cognitive abilities.
Later on, applied research developed methods to affect development through carefully tested strategies (e.g., bringing computers into the classroom or having creative story-telling sessions). He is an excellent example of how basic research and applied research are related to the former laying the foundation for the latter.
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