Basic vs Applied Research

Knowing the main difference between basic and applied research is important because it helps the researchers to answer the question regarding the significance as well as the value of what they have done and how it affects society in general. Research is driven by curiosity and it is this motivation and desire to know more that researchers have come up with various ways and means to conduct research and know more about how things happen and how they impact the world around us. According to a dissertation writing service UK, research is intended to answer why what or how questions and increase understanding of fundamental principles.

Basic research does not have immediate commercial objectives and although it certainly could, it may not necessarily result in an invention or a solution to a practical problem. Applied research is designed to answer specific questions aimed at solving practical problems. New knowledge acquired from applied research has specific commercial objectives in the form of products, procedures, or services. The research addresses the initial questions of how things work and this information or knowledge is used by scientists and engineers to improve the existing products, processes, and technologies for the greater good of mankind.

A research approach can either be basic or applied based on its utility. While basic research aims at expanding knowledge by creating new theories and modifying existing ones, applied research is focused on providing practical solutions to specific problems by analyzing empirical evidence. The main differences between the two types of research methodologies are discussed as follows:

Basic Research

  • The other name for basic research is pure or fundamental research because it is knowledge-specific
  • Basic research is an approach to research that seeks to expand knowledge in a field of study
  • Basic research is knowledge-specific and aims to find out more
  • Basic research in psychology is used to gain insights into different psychological conditions in order to understand these behaviors better. It includes questions such as how do panic attacks happen and what are the symptoms of anxiety disorders?
  • Basic research seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge by creating new theories or modifying existing ones
  • Basic research is primarily defined by its focus on expanding knowledge. In other words, basic research is theory-oriented.
  • Basic research is explanatory and analytical in nature; basic research is solution-specific and primarily concerned with the expansion of knowledge
  • Basic research results in the acquisition of new knowledge and it also expands existing knowledge
  • Findings from basic research have been predominantly responsible for breakthroughs in different fields of study
  • Basic research is universal in nature
  • Basic research is simply focused on expanding knowledge without providing solutions to existing problems but findings from basic research are useful to proffer solutions to problems
  • Basic research which is somewhat subjective in its approach
  • Basic research is used in education to develop new pedagogic theories that explain different behaviors by teachers and students within the learning environment.
  • Basic research helps medical practitioners to gain insights into different health issues such as the origin and symptoms of diseases and infections which can be useful in developing a cure for such conditions.

Applied Research:

  • Applied research is also referred to as contractual research because of its primary focus on providing a solution to a specific problem.
  • Applied research is a research methodology that creates practical solutions for specific problems
  • Applied research is solution-driven and carried out to get a solution
  • Applied research is extremely useful in industrial-psychology as it helps to come up with solutions for problems related to workplace behavior, organizational policies and employee recruitment processes. It aims to find answers such as what are the treatment options for anxiety disorders and what are the ways to improve employees’ productivity in the workplace?
  • Applied research is primarily concerned with creating solutions to problems by collecting and analyzing empirical data in order to arrive at valid research outcomes.
  • Applied research is primarily defined by its focus on providing a practical solution to a defined problem. In other words, applied research is practical-oriented.
  • Applied research is action-oriented and synthetic in nature; its focus is the application of research findings
  • Applied research does not lead to the acquisition of new knowledge; it only focuses on applying knowledge to solve existing problems hence, it is solution-specific.
  • Findings from applied research are primarily useful for solving specific research problems
  • Applied research is limited in nature
  • Applied research helps organizations and individuals to solve specific problems
  • Applied research is an objective method of inquiry and it is unbiased because it arrives at outcomes by subjecting empirical evidence to standardized scientific procedures and this makes it a more valid research method
  • Applied research in education is used to improve teaching and learning methods by providing practical solutions to pedagogic problems.
  • Applied research helps health and medical practitioners to develop evidence-based solutions to pressing health problems.

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