Scientific research involves a systematic approach and a systemic strategy to collect and analyze information. Its purpose is to add to the human knowledge. This includes finding new findings, explanations of existing facts, and an understanding of phenomena and their causes. Scientists use both qualitative and quantitative methods to conduct research. Research has the potential to solve problems and explain the social world.
The process of scientific research involves seven steps, each aimed at ensuring that the data collected is reliable and valid. The first step involves the identification of the problem and the research question. Researchers can then formulate a hypothesis to address the problem. They should carry out empirical research to test the hypothesis and make predictions. These results can help scientists develop new questions.
During research, the researcher must consider both bias and error. Bias occurs when a researcher makes a decision based on an assumption or preference, or when a researcher takes a stance on an issue. Other factors that may affect the validity of a study include the amount of control the researcher has over the process, as well as the type of statistical method used.
Errors in scientific research occur at every stage of the process. These errors can include the selection of the statistical method, the calculation of the sample size, and at the data entry or analysis stage. All of these factors can lead to unfavorable conclusions. Therefore, it is important that researchers have a complete understanding of the steps in their study.
There are two main types of research: fundamental and applied. Fundamental research is usually conducted in laboratories and focuses on developing new theories and expanding existing fields of science. Applications, on the other hand, focus more on the real-world implications of a theory. Applied research is also solution-driven and deals with social realities. For instance, biomedical research aims to solve problems by using accepted knowledge. Applied research often uses the findings of fundamental research.
Depending on the type of research, a researcher may conduct a clinical trial. A clinical trial is a research design involving a patient and a control group. In clinical trials, the patient is studied at a specific time or point in time, such as at the beginning of a disease. Another type of research is a case-control study, which examines a cause-effect relationship.
Applied research can involve experiments that are designed to make a difference in the environment, such as a treatment. For example, an experimental research may investigate how a treatment can prevent a disease from spreading. Alternatively, an explanatory research might be conducted to examine a complex idea, such as why a unicorn might be able to fly.
Scientific research is important in many fields, including public health and medicine. It aims to increase the understanding of a phenomenon and to find new ways to improve it. Similarly, it can be a useful tool in identifying the motivations of individuals. However, researchers should ensure that the results are valid and can be interpreted in a manner that will be understandable.