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What is empirical research?

What is empirical research?

Empirical research is a type of research that is done either through one’s experience, direct observation, or experiment.  Without these basic principles, a research may not be classified as empirical.  If the research is done this way, one should easily be able to answer his/her own questions with corresponding evidence.  The evidence involved in empirical research may be quantitative or qualitative in nature.  This simply means that the data that resulted from observation or experiments may either be interpreted with a quantitative value or qualitative property.

Empirical type of research is also the main principle in doing any scientific research.  Any scientific research must also be done according to the basic principles of experience, observation, and doing experimentations.  Through a hypothesis or theory, a certain concern may be tested or experimented to come up with a result that is backed by reliable data or evidence.  But in order for scientific research to be accepted as factual or accurate, the activities involved must not rely on basic observation and instead focus on testing a hypothesis through experimentations.

The methods of empirical research typically involve five stages namely observation, induction, deduction, testing, and evaluation.  The first part of the process involves observation and this is where one will collect details for the hypothesis.  The induction stage is where the final hypothesis is formulated.  The hypothesis will then go through a series of deduction and testing stages to come up with the results.  The result of this experimentation will then be evaluated to come up with a conclusion.

In the real world, one may want to know if a certain plant species will grow faster and bigger according to the amount of sunlight it is exposed to.  This question may then form part of the hypothesis that sunlight exposure increases the growth rate of the plant species involved for example.  This hypothesis will then be tested to come up with results.  The results of this sample experiment shall then be analyzed to come up with a final answer, conclusion or generalization.

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Posted by Erwin Z on May 14th, 2012 and filed under Science. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response via following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site