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Empirical Research: Definition, Methods, Types and Examples

What is Empirical Research

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Empirical research: Definition

Empirical research: origin, quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, steps for conducting empirical research, empirical research methodology cycle, advantages of empirical research, disadvantages of empirical research, why is there a need for empirical research.

Empirical research is defined as any research where conclusions of the study is strictly drawn from concretely empirical evidence, and therefore “verifiable” evidence.

This empirical evidence can be gathered using quantitative market research and  qualitative market research  methods.

For example: A research is being conducted to find out if listening to happy music in the workplace while working may promote creativity? An experiment is conducted by using a music website survey on a set of audience who are exposed to happy music and another set who are not listening to music at all, and the subjects are then observed. The results derived from such a research will give empirical evidence if it does promote creativity or not.

LEARN ABOUT: Behavioral Research

You must have heard the quote” I will not believe it unless I see it”. This came from the ancient empiricists, a fundamental understanding that powered the emergence of medieval science during the renaissance period and laid the foundation of modern science, as we know it today. The word itself has its roots in greek. It is derived from the greek word empeirikos which means “experienced”.

In today’s world, the word empirical refers to collection of data using evidence that is collected through observation or experience or by using calibrated scientific instruments. All of the above origins have one thing in common which is dependence of observation and experiments to collect data and test them to come up with conclusions.

LEARN ABOUT: Causal Research

Types and methodologies of empirical research

Empirical research can be conducted and analysed using qualitative or quantitative methods.

  • Quantitative research : Quantitative research methods are used to gather information through numerical data. It is used to quantify opinions, behaviors or other defined variables . These are predetermined and are in a more structured format. Some of the commonly used methods are survey, longitudinal studies, polls, etc
  • Qualitative research:   Qualitative research methods are used to gather non numerical data.  It is used to find meanings, opinions, or the underlying reasons from its subjects. These methods are unstructured or semi structured. The sample size for such a research is usually small and it is a conversational type of method to provide more insight or in-depth information about the problem Some of the most popular forms of methods are focus groups, experiments, interviews, etc.

Data collected from these will need to be analysed. Empirical evidence can also be analysed either quantitatively and qualitatively. Using this, the researcher can answer empirical questions which have to be clearly defined and answerable with the findings he has got. The type of research design used will vary depending on the field in which it is going to be used. Many of them might choose to do a collective research involving quantitative and qualitative method to better answer questions which cannot be studied in a laboratory setting.

LEARN ABOUT: Qualitative Research Questions and Questionnaires

Quantitative research methods aid in analyzing the empirical evidence gathered. By using these a researcher can find out if his hypothesis is supported or not.

  • Survey research: Survey research generally involves a large audience to collect a large amount of data. This is a quantitative method having a predetermined set of closed questions which are pretty easy to answer. Because of the simplicity of such a method, high responses are achieved. It is one of the most commonly used methods for all kinds of research in today’s world.

Previously, surveys were taken face to face only with maybe a recorder. However, with advancement in technology and for ease, new mediums such as emails , or social media have emerged.

For example: Depletion of energy resources is a growing concern and hence there is a need for awareness about renewable energy. According to recent studies, fossil fuels still account for around 80% of energy consumption in the United States. Even though there is a rise in the use of green energy every year, there are certain parameters because of which the general population is still not opting for green energy. In order to understand why, a survey can be conducted to gather opinions of the general population about green energy and the factors that influence their choice of switching to renewable energy. Such a survey can help institutions or governing bodies to promote appropriate awareness and incentive schemes to push the use of greener energy.

Learn more: Renewable Energy Survey Template Descriptive Research vs Correlational Research

  • Experimental research: In experimental research , an experiment is set up and a hypothesis is tested by creating a situation in which one of the variable is manipulated. This is also used to check cause and effect. It is tested to see what happens to the independent variable if the other one is removed or altered. The process for such a method is usually proposing a hypothesis, experimenting on it, analyzing the findings and reporting the findings to understand if it supports the theory or not.

For example: A particular product company is trying to find what is the reason for them to not be able to capture the market. So the organisation makes changes in each one of the processes like manufacturing, marketing, sales and operations. Through the experiment they understand that sales training directly impacts the market coverage for their product. If the person is trained well, then the product will have better coverage.

  • Correlational research: Correlational research is used to find relation between two set of variables . Regression analysis is generally used to predict outcomes of such a method. It can be positive, negative or neutral correlation.

LEARN ABOUT: Level of Analysis

For example: Higher educated individuals will get higher paying jobs. This means higher education enables the individual to high paying job and less education will lead to lower paying jobs.

  • Longitudinal study: Longitudinal study is used to understand the traits or behavior of a subject under observation after repeatedly testing the subject over a period of time. Data collected from such a method can be qualitative or quantitative in nature.

For example: A research to find out benefits of exercise. The target is asked to exercise everyday for a particular period of time and the results show higher endurance, stamina, and muscle growth. This supports the fact that exercise benefits an individual body.

  • Cross sectional: Cross sectional study is an observational type of method, in which a set of audience is observed at a given point in time. In this type, the set of people are chosen in a fashion which depicts similarity in all the variables except the one which is being researched. This type does not enable the researcher to establish a cause and effect relationship as it is not observed for a continuous time period. It is majorly used by healthcare sector or the retail industry.

For example: A medical study to find the prevalence of under-nutrition disorders in kids of a given population. This will involve looking at a wide range of parameters like age, ethnicity, location, incomes  and social backgrounds. If a significant number of kids coming from poor families show under-nutrition disorders, the researcher can further investigate into it. Usually a cross sectional study is followed by a longitudinal study to find out the exact reason.

  • Causal-Comparative research : This method is based on comparison. It is mainly used to find out cause-effect relationship between two variables or even multiple variables.

For example: A researcher measured the productivity of employees in a company which gave breaks to the employees during work and compared that to the employees of the company which did not give breaks at all.

LEARN ABOUT: Action Research

Some research questions need to be analysed qualitatively, as quantitative methods are not applicable there. In many cases, in-depth information is needed or a researcher may need to observe a target audience behavior, hence the results needed are in a descriptive analysis form. Qualitative research results will be descriptive rather than predictive. It enables the researcher to build or support theories for future potential quantitative research. In such a situation qualitative research methods are used to derive a conclusion to support the theory or hypothesis being studied.

LEARN ABOUT: Qualitative Interview

  • Case study: Case study method is used to find more information through carefully analyzing existing cases. It is very often used for business research or to gather empirical evidence for investigation purpose. It is a method to investigate a problem within its real life context through existing cases. The researcher has to carefully analyse making sure the parameter and variables in the existing case are the same as to the case that is being investigated. Using the findings from the case study, conclusions can be drawn regarding the topic that is being studied.

For example: A report mentioning the solution provided by a company to its client. The challenges they faced during initiation and deployment, the findings of the case and solutions they offered for the problems. Such case studies are used by most companies as it forms an empirical evidence for the company to promote in order to get more business.

  • Observational method:   Observational method is a process to observe and gather data from its target. Since it is a qualitative method it is time consuming and very personal. It can be said that observational research method is a part of ethnographic research which is also used to gather empirical evidence. This is usually a qualitative form of research, however in some cases it can be quantitative as well depending on what is being studied.

For example: setting up a research to observe a particular animal in the rain-forests of amazon. Such a research usually take a lot of time as observation has to be done for a set amount of time to study patterns or behavior of the subject. Another example used widely nowadays is to observe people shopping in a mall to figure out buying behavior of consumers.

  • One-on-one interview: Such a method is purely qualitative and one of the most widely used. The reason being it enables a researcher get precise meaningful data if the right questions are asked. It is a conversational method where in-depth data can be gathered depending on where the conversation leads.

For example: A one-on-one interview with the finance minister to gather data on financial policies of the country and its implications on the public.

  • Focus groups: Focus groups are used when a researcher wants to find answers to why, what and how questions. A small group is generally chosen for such a method and it is not necessary to interact with the group in person. A moderator is generally needed in case the group is being addressed in person. This is widely used by product companies to collect data about their brands and the product.

For example: A mobile phone manufacturer wanting to have a feedback on the dimensions of one of their models which is yet to be launched. Such studies help the company meet the demand of the customer and position their model appropriately in the market.

  • Text analysis: Text analysis method is a little new compared to the other types. Such a method is used to analyse social life by going through images or words used by the individual. In today’s world, with social media playing a major part of everyone’s life, such a method enables the research to follow the pattern that relates to his study.

For example: A lot of companies ask for feedback from the customer in detail mentioning how satisfied are they with their customer support team. Such data enables the researcher to take appropriate decisions to make their support team better.

Sometimes a combination of the methods is also needed for some questions that cannot be answered using only one type of method especially when a researcher needs to gain a complete understanding of complex subject matter.

We recently published a blog that talks about examples of qualitative data in education ; why don’t you check it out for more ideas?

Since empirical research is based on observation and capturing experiences, it is important to plan the steps to conduct the experiment and how to analyse it. This will enable the researcher to resolve problems or obstacles which can occur during the experiment.

Step #1: Define the purpose of the research

This is the step where the researcher has to answer questions like what exactly do I want to find out? What is the problem statement? Are there any issues in terms of the availability of knowledge, data, time or resources. Will this research be more beneficial than what it will cost.

Before going ahead, a researcher has to clearly define his purpose for the research and set up a plan to carry out further tasks.

Step #2 : Supporting theories and relevant literature

The researcher needs to find out if there are theories which can be linked to his research problem . He has to figure out if any theory can help him support his findings. All kind of relevant literature will help the researcher to find if there are others who have researched this before, or what are the problems faced during this research. The researcher will also have to set up assumptions and also find out if there is any history regarding his research problem

Step #3: Creation of Hypothesis and measurement

Before beginning the actual research he needs to provide himself a working hypothesis or guess what will be the probable result. Researcher has to set up variables, decide the environment for the research and find out how can he relate between the variables.

Researcher will also need to define the units of measurements, tolerable degree for errors, and find out if the measurement chosen will be acceptable by others.

Step #4: Methodology, research design and data collection

In this step, the researcher has to define a strategy for conducting his research. He has to set up experiments to collect data which will enable him to propose the hypothesis. The researcher will decide whether he will need experimental or non experimental method for conducting the research. The type of research design will vary depending on the field in which the research is being conducted. Last but not the least, the researcher will have to find out parameters that will affect the validity of the research design. Data collection will need to be done by choosing appropriate samples depending on the research question. To carry out the research, he can use one of the many sampling techniques. Once data collection is complete, researcher will have empirical data which needs to be analysed.

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Step #5: Data Analysis and result

Data analysis can be done in two ways, qualitatively and quantitatively. Researcher will need to find out what qualitative method or quantitative method will be needed or will he need a combination of both. Depending on the unit of analysis of his data, he will know if his hypothesis is supported or rejected. Analyzing this data is the most important part to support his hypothesis.

Step #6: Conclusion

A report will need to be made with the findings of the research. The researcher can give the theories and literature that support his research. He can make suggestions or recommendations for further research on his topic.

Empirical research methodology cycle

A.D. de Groot, a famous dutch psychologist and a chess expert conducted some of the most notable experiments using chess in the 1940’s. During his study, he came up with a cycle which is consistent and now widely used to conduct empirical research. It consists of 5 phases with each phase being as important as the next one. The empirical cycle captures the process of coming up with hypothesis about how certain subjects work or behave and then testing these hypothesis against empirical data in a systematic and rigorous approach. It can be said that it characterizes the deductive approach to science. Following is the empirical cycle.

  • Observation: At this phase an idea is sparked for proposing a hypothesis. During this phase empirical data is gathered using observation. For example: a particular species of flower bloom in a different color only during a specific season.
  • Induction: Inductive reasoning is then carried out to form a general conclusion from the data gathered through observation. For example: As stated above it is observed that the species of flower blooms in a different color during a specific season. A researcher may ask a question “does the temperature in the season cause the color change in the flower?” He can assume that is the case, however it is a mere conjecture and hence an experiment needs to be set up to support this hypothesis. So he tags a few set of flowers kept at a different temperature and observes if they still change the color?
  • Deduction: This phase helps the researcher to deduce a conclusion out of his experiment. This has to be based on logic and rationality to come up with specific unbiased results.For example: In the experiment, if the tagged flowers in a different temperature environment do not change the color then it can be concluded that temperature plays a role in changing the color of the bloom.
  • Testing: This phase involves the researcher to return to empirical methods to put his hypothesis to the test. The researcher now needs to make sense of his data and hence needs to use statistical analysis plans to determine the temperature and bloom color relationship. If the researcher finds out that most flowers bloom a different color when exposed to the certain temperature and the others do not when the temperature is different, he has found support to his hypothesis. Please note this not proof but just a support to his hypothesis.
  • Evaluation: This phase is generally forgotten by most but is an important one to keep gaining knowledge. During this phase the researcher puts forth the data he has collected, the support argument and his conclusion. The researcher also states the limitations for the experiment and his hypothesis and suggests tips for others to pick it up and continue a more in-depth research for others in the future. LEARN MORE: Population vs Sample

LEARN MORE: Population vs Sample

There is a reason why empirical research is one of the most widely used method. There are a few advantages associated with it. Following are a few of them.

  • It is used to authenticate traditional research through various experiments and observations.
  • This research methodology makes the research being conducted more competent and authentic.
  • It enables a researcher understand the dynamic changes that can happen and change his strategy accordingly.
  • The level of control in such a research is high so the researcher can control multiple variables.
  • It plays a vital role in increasing internal validity .

Even though empirical research makes the research more competent and authentic, it does have a few disadvantages. Following are a few of them.

  • Such a research needs patience as it can be very time consuming. The researcher has to collect data from multiple sources and the parameters involved are quite a few, which will lead to a time consuming research.
  • Most of the time, a researcher will need to conduct research at different locations or in different environments, this can lead to an expensive affair.
  • There are a few rules in which experiments can be performed and hence permissions are needed. Many a times, it is very difficult to get certain permissions to carry out different methods of this research.
  • Collection of data can be a problem sometimes, as it has to be collected from a variety of sources through different methods.

LEARN ABOUT:  Social Communication Questionnaire

Empirical research is important in today’s world because most people believe in something only that they can see, hear or experience. It is used to validate multiple hypothesis and increase human knowledge and continue doing it to keep advancing in various fields.

For example: Pharmaceutical companies use empirical research to try out a specific drug on controlled groups or random groups to study the effect and cause. This way, they prove certain theories they had proposed for the specific drug. Such research is very important as sometimes it can lead to finding a cure for a disease that has existed for many years. It is useful in science and many other fields like history, social sciences, business, etc.

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With the advancement in today’s world, empirical research has become critical and a norm in many fields to support their hypothesis and gain more knowledge. The methods mentioned above are very useful for carrying out such research. However, a number of new methods will keep coming up as the nature of new investigative questions keeps getting unique or changing.

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Empirical Research: Quantitative & Qualitative

  • Introduction: Empirical Research

What is Empirical Research?

Quantitative methods, qualitative methods.

  • Quantitative vs. Qualitative
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Empirical research  is based on observed and measured phenomena and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief. 

Key characteristics of empirical research to look for:

  • Specific research questions to be answered;
  • Definitions of the population, behavior, or phenomena being studied;
  • Description of the methodology or research design used to study this population or phenomena, including selection criteria, controls, and testing instruments (such as surveys);
  • There are two basic research processes or methods in empirical research: quantitative methods and qualitative methods (see below for more about these methods).

How do you know if a study is empirical? Read the subheadings within the article, book, or report and look for a description of the research methodology .

Some scholarly journals use a specific article layout called the IMRaD  format to communicate empirical research findings. Such articles typically have 4 components:

  • Introduction : sometimes called literature review - what is currently known about the topic - usually includes a theoretical framework and/or discussion of previous studies
  • Methodology : sometimes called research design  - how to recreate the study - usually describes the population, research process, and analytical tools
  • Results : sometimes called findings  - what was learned through the study - usually appears as statistical data or as substantial quotations from research participants
  • Discussion : sometimes called conclusion  or implications  - why the study is important - usually describes how the research results influence professional practices or future studies.

(based on the original from the Connelly LIbrary of LaSalle University)

Quantitative Research

A quantitative research project is characterized by having a population about which the researcher wants to draw conclusions, but it is not possible to collect data on the entire population.

  • For an observational study, it is necessary to select a proper, statistical random sample and to use methods of statistical inference to draw conclusions about the population. 
  • For an experimental study, it is necessary to have a random assignment of subjects to experimental and control groups in order to use methods of statistical inference.

Statistical methods are used in all three stages of a quantitative research project.

For observational studies, the data are collected using statistical sampling theory. Then, the sample data are analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis. Finally, generalizations are made from the sample data to the entire population using statistical inference.

For experimental studies, the subjects are allocated to experimental and control group using randomizing methods. Then, the experimental data are analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis. Finally, just as for observational data, generalizations are made to a larger population.

Iversen, G. (2004). Quantitative research . In M. Lewis-Beck, A. Bryman, & T. Liao (Eds.), Encyclopedia of social science research methods . (pp. 897-898). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Qualitative Research

What makes a work deserving of the label qualitative research is the demonstrable effort to produce richly and relevantly detailed descriptions and particularized interpretations of people and the social, linguistic, material, and other practices and events that shape and are shaped by them.

Qualitative research typically includes, but is not limited to, discerning the perspectives of these people, or what is often referred to as the actor’s point of view. Although both philosophically and methodologically a highly diverse entity, qualitative research is marked by certain defining imperatives that include its case (as opposed to its variable) orientation, sensitivity to cultural and historical context, and reflexivity. 

In its many guises, qualitative research is a form of empirical inquiry that typically entails some form of purposive sampling for information-rich cases; in-depth interviews and open-ended interviews, lengthy participant/field observations, and/or document or artifact study; and techniques for analysis and interpretation of data that move beyond the data generated and their surface appearances. 

Sandelowski, M. (2004).  Qualitative research . In M. Lewis-Beck, A. Bryman, & T. Liao (Eds.),  Encyclopedia of social science research methods . (pp. 893-894). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

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The Neuroscience of Growth Mindset and Intrinsic Motivation

Our actions can be triggered by intentions, incentives or intrinsic values. Recent neuroscientific research has yielded some results about the growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. With the advances in neuroscience and motivational studies, there is a global need to utilize this information to inform educational practice and research. Yet, little is known about the neuroscientific interplay between growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. This paper attempts to draw on the theories of growth mindset and intrinsic motivation, together with contemporary ideas in neuroscience, outline the potential for neuroscientific research in education. It aims to shed light on the relationship between growth mindset and intrinsic motivation in terms of supporting a growth mindset to facilitate intrinsic motivation through neural responses. Recent empirical research from the educational neuroscience perspective that provides insights into the interplay between growth mindset and intrinsic motivation will also be discussed.

1. Introduction

With an emphasis on inquiry and scientific skills, students are encouraged to discover, produce and evaluate knowledge, using inquiry and scientific skills [ 1 ]. Such inquiry learning should be structured in a way that student learning is facilitated, while encouraging students to plan and conduct their own investigation. An autonomy-supportive environment facilitates autonomous learning, and fosters self-determined motivation in students [ 2 ]. Students learn to synthesize contradictory perspectives and rise to intellectual meta-levels of thinking, which is a crucial trait for the 21st-century operating environment [ 3 ]. As such, it is fundamental to nurture the young generation in becoming adaptive, self-regulated and self-determined.

In the 21st century, there has been a strong proliferation of research on growth mindset and intrinsic motivation in learning. The constructs of mindset and motivation have been important foci among educators seeking to positively impact student learning and outcomes. The underlying mechanism for students to have their own agency in finding out new knowledge is intrinsic motivation. However, much of this research has relied on quantitative approaches for assessing students’ self-reports on motivational regulations and learning outcomes [ 4 , 5 ]. Some of these quantitative findings are used to generalize across school settings. Although the multiple facets of student motivation and learning have been identified in quantitative analyses, they have not provided a detailed understanding of students’ motivational processes. Neuroscience methods may offer new insights regarding students’ motivation and learning processes.

Most neuroscience studies have focused on research related to cognitive functions, such as attention, memory and decision-making. In addition to these cognitive studies, there is also the implicit nature of mindsets that lead to the malleability of self-attributes (e.g., intelligence) [ 6 ]. Subtle feedback and messages related to growth mindset can have noticeable effects on students’ attitudes and motivation that may transfer to long-term outcomes. Likewise, human motivation is important, as it is one’s intrinsic desire to learn and obtain information. Growth mindset is the belief that intelligence can be nurtured through learning and effort, while intrinsic motivation is the volition to engage in a task for inherent satisfaction. Individuals with growth mindset believe that motivation can be nurtured, and that extrinsic motivation can be internalized (i.e., from extrinsic regulation to integrated regulation that is similar to intrinsically motivated behavior). In an integrative view, growth mindset and intrinsic motivation are important and interrelated, thus raising fundamental questions about the neural mechanisms of mindset-motivation interaction. The links among growth mindset, brain and motivation are important to academic performance. Therefore, it is important to draw on neuroscientific findings to show the way the brain is motivated, and how it learns by changing mindset (i.e., from a fixed to a growth mindset). Such intervention studies are still not common, and there is potential in these research areas.

This paper reviews the theoretical frameworks of growth mindset and intrinsic motivation, and how they are linked to neuroscientific evidence. It also reviews a number of recent neuroscience studies related to growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. It is important to survey the progress of neuroscience research on growth mindset and intrinsic motivation, as understanding the neural substrates will provide insights into human motivation and drive. Neuroscience research has the potential to support and refine models of motivation and cognitive skill. It may play a pivotal role in developing classroom interventions and understanding non-cognitive skills (e.g., mindset). Knowing the key brain regions that are associated with growth mindset and intrinsic motivation, researchers and practitioners could work together to investigate the granular processes of motivation in relation to growth mindset.

Most empirical research on growth mindset and intrinsic motivation has focused on behavioral methods and self-reports of experiences. There is little information about the internal processes of motivation at a higher level of resolution. It is, therefore, relevant and timely to examine the existing literature and empirical research that is associated with intrinsic motivation. Neuroscientific evidence has the potential to uncover new insights and refine the conceptual ideas of intrinsic motivation by articulating the granular processes of motivation that behavioral methods alone cannot afford. This paper offers recommendations for potential neuroscience research in studying growth mindset and intrinsic motivation.

2. Growth Mindset

Growth mindset is defined as a belief that construes intelligence as malleable and improvable [ 6 ]. Students with growth mindset are likely to learn by a mastery approach, embrace challenges and put in effort to learn. For instance, growth-minded individuals perceive task setbacks as a necessary part of the learning process and they “bounce back” by increasing their motivational effort [ 7 , 8 ]. One recent study on elementary students showed that leveraging an online educational game (the BrainPOP website) with in-game rewards can promote a growth mindset by directly incentivizing effort and encouraging persistence in low performing students [ 7 ]. Learners with growth mindset tend to embrace lifelong learning and the joy of incremental personal growth. In addition, they do not see their intelligence or personality as fixed traits. They will mobilize their learning resources without being defeated by the threat of failure. This paper aims to provide some insights into the cultivation of resilience and mastery in university students, preparing them to overcome challenges in the real working world.

Empirical studies have revealed that growth mindset has positive effects on student motivation and academic performance [ 9 , 10 ]. Recent research has also shown that mindset is related to student outcomes and behaviors including academic achievement, engagement, and willingness to attempt new challenges [ 11 , 12 ]. Numerous studies have shown the effects of growth mindset interventions on students’ achievement at all ages. According to Dweck [ 9 ], teaching growth mindset to junior high school students resulted in increased motivation and better academic achievement. Her findings revealed that students in the growth mindset intervention group outperformed those in the control group (who received excellent training in study skills), indicating improved learning and desire to work hard. The growth mindset intervention teaches students that intelligence is not a fixed quality [ 13 ]. Intelligence can be nurtured through challenging tasks, as intelligence grows with hard work on challenging problems. A growth mindset intervention was especially impactful with student outcomes in particular subjects such as science and mathematics [ 14 ].

An individual with a growth mindset works hard and improves without an incentive reward in mind as the outcome. The conceptualization of growth mindset is similar to that of intrinsic motivation. A learner with a growth mindset tends to self-regulate their own learning and has the propensity to cope with academic tasks. Hence, encouraging a growth mindset can improve the academic performance of college students [ 14 , 15 ] and middle school math students [ 9 ].

Most of the abovementioned empirical studies reported the utility of questionnaires or self-report measures. There is still limited neuroscientific research on the neural mechanism of growth mindset. It is, therefore, important to examine data from other means such as neuroscientific information about how the brain changes with experience of learning and how it is associated to growth mindset. The subsequent sections will discuss the neuroscientific evidence of growth mindset.

3. Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is inherent, as it drives the direction of an individual’s behavior and self-determination [ 16 ]. Self-determination is important in the development of beings to become more effective and refined in their reflection of ongoing experiences [ 17 ]. When students experience the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself, they will show intrinsically motivated behavior. If students are doing the activity in order to attain some reward, such as grades or social recognition, they are extrinsically motivated [ 18 ]. Students’ motivated behaviors pertaining to choice, effort and persistence in academic tasks correspond directly with their level of intrinsic motivation [ 19 , 20 ].

Numerous studies have examined the effects of intrinsic motivation, including the adaptive consequences for individuals such as exposing them to novel situations and developing their diverse competencies to cope with unforeseen circumstances [ 21 ]. In addition, intrinsic motivation is the propensity for individuals to learn about new subjects and to differentiate their interests, thereby fostering a sense of purpose and meaning [ 22 ]. Recent empirical findings have shown that intrinsic motivation is a key factor in academic achievement [ 23 ] and pursuit of interest [ 24 ], thus fostering learning and growth.

Dopamine is the predominant neurotransmitter in the brain that aids in controlling the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, as well as motivated and emotional behaviors [ 25 ]. Dopamine neurons that are excited by unexpected reward events project to the striatum, cortex, limbic system and hypothalamus, thus affecting physiological functions and motivated behaviors. Dopamine is considered a key substrate of intrinsic motivation, thus promoting attentiveness and behavioral engagement [ 25 ]. For instance, participants were likely to voluntarily engage with the task during a free-choice time period [ 26 ] or a self-determined choice condition [ 27 ]. These consistent findings indicate that an enhanced activity within the dopaminergic value system whereby perceived autonomy support promotes intrinsic motivation. As such, learning is a neural process that requires the reinforcement of synaptic functioning and is strongly mediated by dopamine and attentional gain in the frontal cortex [ 28 ]. Positive and negative affect will also strengthen or weaken the learner’s intrinsic motivation in a particular subject, thus influencing the attitude towards that subject.

Over the past few decades, behavioral evidence has established the importance of intrinsic motivation and how it impacts one’s learning. However, our understanding of the underlying mechanism of intrinsic motivation is still in its infancy, and it is unclear how one’s intrinsic motivation progresses or changes over time. More evidence is needed to establish the mechanism of intrinsic motivation at a granular level. The recommendation is to include neuroscientific evidence to track and understand which aspects of one’s learning progress determine intrinsic motivation, complementing the existing behavioral evidence. An approach of the neuroscience method is to foster intrinsically motivated behaviors based on task complexity in various contexts, thereby addressing intrinsic motivation through different forms of exploration. The following sections will discuss in detail the neuroscience methods and neuroscientific evidence of intrinsic motivation.

4. Neuroscience Methods

The main neuroscience methods that have been applied in motivation studies are electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Such neuroscientific research is still considered novel, as most motivational studies have focused on behavioral methods. Both neuroscientific techniques are non-invasive procedures for measuring brain activity. The key difference is fMRI has a higher spatial resolution than EEG, whereas EEG has a better temporal resolution than fMRI.

Neuroscience methods (e.g., fMRI) could provide insights into neural substrates of growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. We could measure the learner’s brain activity and neural responses to a specific task in relation to internal processes of motivation. For instance, intrinsic motivation could be assessed by an experimental task or free-choice behavior measures.

The use of neuroscientific techniques enables us to focus on the learning process rather than the learning outcomes [ 29 ]. The neuroimaging findings offer an understanding of the brain, indicating the specific areas of brain activation which could in turn correlate with the behavioral results. As such, neuroimaging findings might support the self-reported data and explore brain regions with neural activation in relation to changes in performance during an online activity.

5. Neural Correlates of Growth Mindset and Intrinsic Motivation

There is a small body of existing growth mindset studies using neuroscience methods. The study by Moser et al. [ 30 ] suggested that individuals with a growth mindset are receptive to corrective feedback, exhibiting a higher Pe (error positivity) waveform response, which is correlated with a heightened awareness of and attention to mistakes. Enhanced Pe amplitude was associated with enhanced attention to corrective feedback following errors and subsequent error correction. Individuals with growth mindset are likely to have heightened awareness of and attention to errors. In addition, growth-minded individuals may neutralize the affective response to negative feedback, which could be indicated by neural activation. Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is the region of frontal midline cortex that is related to learning and control [ 31 ]. A recent study [ 32 ] found that growth mindset was related to both ventral and dorsal striatal connectivity with dorsal ACC. Dorsal ACC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) are critical to error-monitoring and behavioral adaptation. Growth mindset was strongly associated with dorsal and ventral striatal connectivity, as well as DLPFC. Learners with growth mindset are efficient in error-monitoring and receptive to corrective feedback. Hence, growth mindset has the potential to encourage intrinsically motivated behaviors in schools and promote lifelong learning.

Neuroscientific evidence has shown that ACC is associated to cognitive control and motivation [ 31 ]. Neural correlates revealed that dopamine is critical for motivation and cognitive control, with motivation-cognition interactions between midbrain regions and lateral frontal cortex [ 33 ]. Cognitive control is influenced by reward motivation. Participants were assigned to three levels of cognitive controls (low, mid and high). Different beneficial effects of reward (high versus low) were exhibited. Participants with high versus low reward anticipation showed increased activity in the medial and lateral frontal cortex. Brain activity was also stronger at the low level of cognitive control than mid and high levels. These findings demonstrated that motivation plays an important role in the cognitive control. In addition, high-level control tasks may demand an enhancing effect of motivation.

A recent EEG study [ 34 ] showed that school children with growth mindset endorsement performed with higher accuracy after mistakes (i.e., post-error accuracy). The event-related potential (ERP), which is a measure of brain response due to the result of error and correct trials, revealed that Pe amplitude difference was largest at site Pz (i.e., midline parietal). Together with the behavioral data, correlational analyses showed that having a higher growth mindset was associated with a larger Pe difference. Students with attentional resources are able to remember their mistakes and able to make sense of their mistakes, thus correcting themselves during the learning process. Students do not like to take risks that show their weaknesses, such as making mistakes [ 35 ]. However, with growth mindset endorsement, students are not afraid to make mistakes, as they have the ability to learn with post-error accuracy. Hence, growth-minded students will be resilient and self-regulated when faced with obstacles or challenges during their learning process.

Little is known about the interplay between neural responses and intrinsic motivation. Intrinsically motivated action can be characterized by an individual’s engagement in behavior for one’s own sake, with free-choice time on a task [ 36 ]. An empirical study measured intrinsic motivation by examining a network of brain regions as the participants spent free-choice time on a word problem task [ 37 ]. Using fMRI, a network of brain regions revealed diminished task-related activity, predicting subsequent increased intrinsic motivation. The neuroimaging data suggest that decreased activation of neural cognitive control is associated with increased intrinsic motivation, thus extending one’s task engagement. Another recent study by Lee and Reeve [ 38 ] examined the neural substrates of intrinsic motivation during task performance. Their findings showed activated anterior insular cortex (AIC; a limbic-related cortex region) when students performed intrinsically motivated tasks. These neural findings are consistent with the concept of intrinsic motivation in terms of pursuit and interest satisfaction as intrinsic rewards. Based on these findings, it was concluded that AIC activity and its functional interactions are linked to an intrinsic-motivation neural system [ 38 ].

Two recent motivation studies used free-choice measures, such as a stop-watch (SW) game, as an experimental task to assess participants’ intrinsic motivation [ 39 , 40 ]. A traditional SW game includes a stopwatch that starts automatically, and the player tries to stop the watch at a specific time. Experimental stimuli were presented on the computer screen and participants were required to use the keypad to complete the SW tasks. It is interesting to note the relationship between the optimal challenge condition and intrinsic motivation using EEG [ 39 ]. Students performed better when they felt optimally challenged, and had enhanced intrinsic motivation in the game experiment. Stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) is considered to be an electrophysiological indicator of motivation level. The EEG findings showed a larger SPN during the feedback anticipation period of the near miss condition than in the complete defeat condition, suggesting that participants were more intrinsically motivated to win in close games [ 39 ]. For the second study, fMRI was used to explore the degree of enjoyment for the preference levels of SW game [ 40 ]. It was found that participants had enhanced intrinsic motivation when they played the SW game with the action-outcome contingency condition. The fMRI findings revealed significant activation in the regions of the mid brain and ventral striatum in the action-outcome contingency condition, indicating that the intrinsic value of an action and achieving success. These two studies suggest that neuroscience methods are used to assess individuals’ intrinsic motivation using a free-choice experiment, such as a SW game. However, using game elements and design may have implications for authentic learning programs. Using the game approach, students may have enhanced intrinsic motivation for doing the activities in a gaming format or platform. Adopting the game approach and translating such motivation-enhancing elements into classrooms may seem challenging and time-consuming. Such experimental tasks are usually carried out in a closed environment, such as in a controlled laboratory setting within the fMRI facility.

Intrinsic motivation is associated with sensitivity of feedback processing in the striatum [ 41 ]. The striatum plays a key role in reinforcing learning as it receives input from midbrain dopamine neurons and produces adaptive behaviors. Striatum activity is associated with reward processing, indicating that an intrinsically motivated task could foster the individual’s intrinsic motivation. For instance, feedback-related responses in the striatum can potentially promote or undermine intrinsic motivation of a desired behavior. Positive feedback was viewed as a rewarding outcome, and highly motivated subjects could attune to the feedback despite of fatigue through the study [ 41 ]. Performance-feedback may have affective salient response to striatum and produce a motivated behavior. A study by Lee [ 42 ] showed that intrinsic motivation was related to the AIC that is known to be associated with the sense of agency, while extrinsic motivation was associated with posterior parietal regions (e.g., posterior cingulate cortex, angular gyrus). The type of task also plays a very important role in activating the AIC. Lee [ 42 ] also found that interesting tasks activated the AIC and ventral striatum (i.e., brain region for reward processing), but not uninteresting tasks. AIC relates to the satisfaction of intrinsic need, whereas ventral striatum relates to the feeling of reward. His findings suggest that AIC and ventral striatum activations are associated with intrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation is difficult to measure in an objective manner. In order to track one’s intrinsic motivation, it requires one to perform an experimental task over time. For instance, one’s brain activity can be tracked during the process of performing an intrinsically motivated or optimally challenged task. Together with behavioral measures, contemporary methods such as fMRI can be used to track the changes in intrinsic motivation during a free-choice activity.

6. The Neuroscientific Interplay between Growth Mindset and Intrinsic Motivation

Based on the abovementioned empirical findings, there is a distinctive neuroscientific interplay between growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. EEG findings could not directly show the brain regions that are related to mindset and motivation. Compared to the EEG, which is based on brain waveforms, fMRI is a better method for showing insights into the brain regions that are associated with growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. It is interesting to note that growth mindset is mainly associated with the dorsal regions of the brain, whereas intrinsic motivation is associated with the mid-brain regions. The common brain areas that are related to both growth mindset and intrinsic motivation are ACC and ventral striatum. Knowing the behavioral correlates for these two brain regions, potential research could investigate the neural correlates of growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. This brings us a step closer to understand the neural mechanism between growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. Below is a table that highlights the neuroscientific evidence of growth mindset and intrinsic motivation in relation to cognition. The behavioral correlate for the brain region is included in parentheses (see Table 1 ).

Neuroscientific evidence of growth mindset and intrinsic motivation.

Growth mindset relates to brain processes, and brain processes relate to motivated behaviors. Likewise, motivated behaviors can affect cognition as motivation shapes what and how people think [ 43 ]. As such, individuals’ goals and needs may be exemplified when they steer their thinking towards desired outcomes. Research has shown that growth mindset has an impact on children’s behavior, particularly in terms of effort, motivation and resilience [ 12 , 44 ]. By understanding the underlying mechanism of intrinsic motivation, teachers are able to guide students in applying the relevant self-regulatory strategies at school. When individuals have intrinsic motivation for performing a task at work or school, their work or educational performance will improve [ 45 , 46 ]. With the inculcation of growth mindset, individuals will perceive the intrinsic value of a given task and self-regulate their behaviors to perform the task. Through internalization, individuals will generate intrinsically motivated behaviors at work or school.

As our brain is plastic, it is able to undergo reorganization and development. Brain plasticity or neuroplasticity refers to the ability of our brain to change throughout our life. It is thereby important to understand how our brain changes if we undergo growth mindset intervention and whether there are changes in our intrinsic motivation as well. This phenomenon is yet to be explored in educational research. It is thus an avenue worth pursuing for educators who hope to make the best of their students with regard to learning and personal growth. Such educational neuroscience research may impact teaching and learning, thus providing a better understanding of the neuroscientific interplay between growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. Future educational neuroscience research may include classroom interventions such as a growth mindset induction and how it affects the neuroscience of intrinsic motivation.

7. Future Directions

The principal intent of this paper is to highlight a potential educational neuroscience research in areas of growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. Although there are some empirical studies on mindset and motivation, the neuroscience of intrinsic motivation is still unclear and at its infancy. There are also limited neuroscientific studies on students’ motivation and learning. As educational neuroscience research looks promising in the near future, we should be aware of the potential integration between neuroscience methods and behavioral measures. For successful intervention studies, there are some considerations that need to be warranted.

First, educators should design a task that has intrinsic value for students to be engaged in doing. For instance, an interesting task will instill curiosity into students, when compared to an uninteresting one. Inculcating the value of doing the task or task value will definitely stimulate the students’ interest. Second, teachers should provide the autonomy or choice for students. Autonomy or the agency of learning is the key substrate to intrinsic motivation [ 17 ]. Research has shown that autonomy is the strongest predictor of intrinsic motivation [ 47 ]. Autonomy is considered the self-endorsement of actions, whereby individuals feel less coerced and they generate autonomous behavior at work or school. In the same vein, choice is the opportunity for individuals to decide and exert control over the situation. A recent study found that the provision of choice, however trivial or inconsequential, might also increase an individual’s intrinsic motivation [ 48 ]. The researchers used behavioral and electrophysiological (i.e., electroencephalogram) evidence to explain the importance of need satisfaction for autonomy to enhance one’s intrinsic motivation toward the task.

Third and finally, performance-related feedback could influence intrinsic motivation [ 41 ]. Participants are likely to perceive their performance on the task differently based on the type of performance-related feedback. For instance, positive feedback may enhance one’s intrinsic motivation, while negative feedback may undermine one’s motivation. In addition, the frequency of performance-related feedback may affect one’s neural processing (i.e., posterior cingulate cortex) in supporting task performance. There were enhanced activity of posterior cingulate cortex and performance gains after the performance-feedback manipulation. This shows that posterior cingulate cortex might facilitate the learning of a task [ 41 ]. The current level of a learner’s intrinsic motivation may also influence the way he or she processes the performance-related feedback. It is still not fully clear how the nature of performance-feedback could affect an individual’s feedback processing. Perhaps neuroscience methods could provide some insights into this area of research.

Based on the neuroscientific evidence, there is an undermining effect of monetary reward on intrinsic motivation; that is, one’s intrinsic motivation is undermined when extrinsic reward is no longer promised [ 26 ]. Neuroscience findings suggest that there are connections between the striatum and the prefrontal cortex in determining the outcome; decreased activation of the striatum and midbrain when the subjects do not get the task value, as well as decreased activation of the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) when they are not motivated to show cognitive engagement with the task. Since growth mindset is a belief system that favors hard work and performance monitoring [ 32 ], a learner’s subjective belief in determining the outcome may modulate activity of the striatum, in response to cognitive feedback that nurtures growth mindset. Hence, neuroscientific evidence may provide insights into the learning and motivational processes that could be helpful for teachers and practitioners in improving their learning and teaching practices, thus supporting student learning and motivation.

8. Concluding Remarks

This paper reviewed the recent empirical neuroscientific studies on growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. Research in these areas is still in its infancy. This paper attempted to provide an overview of the underlying mechanism between growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. Educating students about growth mindset and how they can improve their learning experience is a step toward increased intrinsic motivation in our society. From a personal perspective, intrinsic motivation is the key substrate to learning and development. The promotion of a growth mindset can nurture individuals to learn as they understand that intelligence is malleable. It is important that, as teachers, we show our students the value and importance of learning at schools. With a growth mindset, students will learn with a positive attitude, and they will identify the importance of the contents. Teachers should also embrace a growth mindset such that they will understand the importance of providing autonomy over student learning to enhance self-regulation. As such, students will be more motivated to learn subjects at school, rather than relying on the presumption that students will be interested in learning. This preliminary review paper offers a useful road map for identifying the areas that need to be addressed in neuroscientific research related to growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. However, this paper did not discuss the potential roles of socio-demographic variables and personality traits on growth mindset and intrinsic motivation. Future research will benefit from the continued development of neuroscientific evidence to connect the substantial behavioral evidence of these variables and traits associated with growth mindset and intrinsic motivation.

Acknowledgments

Thanks to all reviewers who contributed to improving the manuscript.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.

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Conceptual Vs. Empirical Research: Which Is Better?

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Scientific research is often divided into two classes: conceptual research and empirical research. There used to be distinct ways of doing research and a researcher would proudly claim to be one or the other, praising his method and scorning the alternative. Today the distinction is not so clear.

What is Conceptual Research?

Conceptual research focuses on the concept or theory that explains or describes the phenomenon being studied. What causes disease? How can we describe the motions of the planets? What are the building blocks of matter? The conceptual researcher sits at his desk with pen in hand and tries to solve these problems by thinking about them. He does no experiments but may make use of observations by others, since this is the mass of data that he is trying to make sense of. Until fairly recently, conceptual research methodology was considered the most honorable form of research—it required using the brain, not the hands. Researchers such as the alchemists who did experiments were considered little better than blacksmiths—“filthy empiricists.”

What is Empirical Research?

For all of their lofty status, conceptual researchers regularly produced theories that were wrong. Aristotle taught that large cannonballs fell to earth faster than small ones, and many generations of professors repeated his teachings until Galileo proved them wrong. Galileo was an empiricist of the best sort, one who performed original experiments not merely to destroy old theories but to provide the basis for new theories. A reaction against the ivory tower theoreticians culminated in those who claimed to have no use for theory, arguing that empirical acquisition of knowledge was the only way to the truth. A pure empiricist would simply graph data and see if he got a straight line relation between variables. If so, he had a good “empirical” relationship that would make useful predictions. The theory behind the correlation was irrelevant.

Conceptual vs. Empirical Research

The Scientific Method: A Bit of Both

The modern scientific method is really a combination of empirical and conceptual research. Using known experimental data a scientist formulates a working hypothesis to explain some aspect of nature. He then performs new experiments designed to test predictions of the theory, to support it or disprove it. Einstein is often cited as an example of a conceptual researcher, but he based his theories on experimental observations and proposed experiments, real and thought, which would test his theories. On the other hand, Edison is often considered an empiricist, the “Edisonian method” being a by-word for trial and error. But Edison appreciated the work of theorists and hired some of the best. Random screening of myriad possibilities is still valuable: pharmaceutical companies looking for new drugs do this, sometimes with great success. Personally, I tend to be a semi-empiricist. In graduate school I used the Hammett linear free-energy relation (a semi-empirical equation) to gain insight into chemical transition states. So I don’t debate on “conceptual vs. empirical research.” There is a range of possibilities between both the forms, all of which have their uses.

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Excellent explanations in a simple language.

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Thanks for this article,really helpful university of zambia

Albert Einstein did theoretical work–he had no laboratory, Put simply, through new conceptual models, he re-interpreted the findings of others and expressed them mathematically.

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Conceptual Research Vs Empirical Research?

Melissa martinez, conceptual research.

Conceptual research is a technique wherein investigation is conducted by watching and analyzing already present data on a given point. Conceptual research does not include any viable tests. It is related to unique concepts or thoughts. Philosophers have long utilized conceptual research to create modern speculations or decipher existing hypotheses in a diverse light.

It doesn’t include viable experimentation, but the instep depends on analyzing accessible data on a given theme. Conceptual research has been broadly utilized within logic to create modern hypotheses, counter existing speculations, or distinctively decipher existing hypotheses. 

Today, conceptual research is utilized to answer business questions and fathom real-world problems. Researchers utilize explanatory apparatuses called conceptual systems to form conceptual refinements and organize thoughts required for investigation purposes.

Conceptual Research Framework

A conceptual research framework is built utilizing existing writing and studies from which inferences can be drawn. A conceptual research system constitutes a researcher’s combination of past research and related work and clarifies the phenomenon. The study is conducted to diminish the existing information gap on a specific theme and make important and dependable data available. 

The following steps can be taken to make a conceptual research framework:

Explain a topic for research

The primary step is to characterize the subject of your research. Most analysts will choose a topic relating to their field of expertise.

Collect and Organize relevant research

As conceptual research depends on pre-existing studies and writing, analysts must collect all important data relating to their point. It’s imperative to utilize dependable sources and information from scientific journals or investigate well-presumed papers. As conceptual research does not utilize experimentation and tests, the significance of analyzing dependable, fact-based information is reinforced.

Distinguish factors for the research

The other step is to choose important factors for their research. These factors will be the measuring sticks by which inductions will be drawn. They provide modern scope to inquire about and offer to help identify how distinctive factors may influence the subject of research.

Make the Framework 

The last step is to make the research framework by utilizing significant writing, factors, and other significant material. 

Advantages of Conceptual Research

It requires few resources compared to other types of market research where practical experimentation is required. This spares time and assets.

It is helpful as this form of investigation only requires the assessment of existing writing. 

Disadvantages of Conceptual Research

Speculations based on existing writing instead of experimentation and perception draw conclusions that are less fact-based and may not essentially be considered dependable.

Often, we see philosophical hypotheses being countered or changed since their conclusions or inferences are drawn from existing writings instead of practical experimentation. 

Empirical Research:

Empirical research is based on observed and established phenomena and determines information from real involvement instead of hypothesis or conviction. It derives knowledge from actual experiences. How do you know a study is empirical? Pay attention to the subheadings inside the article, book, or report and examine them to seek a depiction of the investigating “strategy.” Inquire yourself: Could I recreate this study and test these results?

Key characteristics to see for: 

  • Specific research questions to be answered 
  • Definition of the population, behavior, or wonders being studied 
  • Description of the methods used to consider the population of the area of phenomena, including various aspects like choice criteria, controls, and testing instruments.

Empirical Research Framework:

Since empirical research is based on perception and capturing experiences, it is critical to arrange the steps to experiment and how to examine it. This will empower the analyst to resolve issues or obstacles amid the test.

  • Define your purpose for this research:

This is often the step where the analyst must answer questions like what precisely I need to discover? What is the issue articulation? Are there any issues regarding the accessibility of knowledge, data, time, or assets? Will this research be more useful than what it’ll cost? Before going ahead, an analyst should characterize his reason for the investigation and plan to carry out assist tasks.

  • Supporting theories and relevant literature:

The analyst should discover if some hypotheses can be connected to his research issue. He must figure out if any hypothesis can offer assistance in supporting his discoveries. All kinds of significant writing will offer assistance to the analyst to discover if others have researched this before. The analyst will also need to set up presumptions and also discover if there’s any history concerning his investigation issue

  • Creation of Hypothesis and measurement:

Before starting the proper research related to his subject, he must give himself a working theory or figure out the probable result. The researcher has to set up factors, choose the environment for the research and find out how he can relate between the variables. The researcher will also need to characterize the units of estimations, tolerable degree for mistakes, and discover in the event that the estimation chosen will be approved by others.

  • Methodology and data collection:

In this step, the analyst has to characterize a strategy for conducting his investigation. He must set up tests to gather the information that can empower him to propose the theory. The analyst will choose whether to require a test or non-test strategy for conducting the research. The research design will shift depending on the field in which the research is being conducted. Finally, the analyst will discover parameters that will influence the legitimacy of the research plan. The information collected will need to be done by choosing appropriate tests depending on the inquire-about address. To carry out the inquiry, he can utilize one of the numerous testing strategies. Once information collection is complete, the analyst will have experimental information which must be examined.

  • Data Analysis and result:

Data analysis can be tried in two ways, qualitatively and quantitatively. The analyst will need to discover what subjective strategy or quantitative strategy will be required or will require a combination of both. Depending on the examination of his information, he will know if his speculation is backed or rejected. Analyzing this information is the foremost vital portion to bolster his speculation.

A report will need to be made with the discoveries of the research. The analyst can deliver the hypotheses and writing that support his investigation. He can make recommendations or suggestions to assist research on his subject

Advantages of empirical research

  • Empirical research points to discover the meaning behind a specific phenomenon. In other words, it looks for answers to how and why something works the way it is. 
  • By recognizing why something happens, it is conceivable to imitate or avoid comparative events. 
  • The adaptability of the research permits the analysts to alter certain perspectives of the research and alter them to new objectives. 
  • It is more dependable since it speaks to a real-life involvement and not fair theories. 
  • Data collected through experimental research may be less biased since the analyst is there amid the collection handle. In contrast, it is incomprehensible to confirm the precision of the information in non-empirical research.

Disadvantages of empirical research

  • It can be time-consuming depending on the research subject that you have chosen. 
  • It isn’t a cost-effective way of information collection in most cases because of the viable costly strategies of information gathering. Additionally, it may require traveling between numerous locations. 
  • Lack of proof and research subjects may not surrender the required result. A little test estimate avoids generalization since it may not be enough to speak to the target audience.
  • It isn’t easy to induce data on touchy points. Additionally, analysts may require participants’ consent to utilize the data

Difference Between Conceptual and Empirical Research

Conceptual research and empirical research are two ways of doing logical research. These are two restricting investigation systems since conceptual research doesn’t include any tests, and empirical investigation does.

Conceptual research includes unique thoughts and ideas; as it may, it doesn’t include any experiments and tests. Empirical research, on the other hand, includes phenomena that are observable and can be measured.

  • Type of Studies:

Philosophical research studies are cases of conceptual research, while empirical research incorporates both quantitative and subjective studies.

The major difference between conceptual and empirical investigation is that conceptual research involves unique thoughts and ideas, though experimental investigation includes investigation based on perception, tests, and unquestionable evidence.

References:

  • Empirical Research: Advantages, Drawbacks, and Differences with Non-Empirical Research. In Voicedocs . Retrieved from https://voicedocs.com/en/blog/empirical-research-advantages-drawbacks-and-differences-non-empirical-research
  • Empirical Research: Definition, Methods, Types and Examples. In QuestionPro . Retrieved from https://www.questionpro.com/blog/empirical-research/
  • Conceptual vs. empirical research: which is better? In Enago Academy . Retrieved from https://www.enago.com/academy/conceptual-vs-empirical-research-which-is-better/

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What is Empirical research?

In empirical study, conclusions of the study are drawn from concrete empirical evidence. This evidence is also referred to as “verifiable” evidence. This evidence is gathered either through quantitative market research or qualitative market research methods.

An example of empirical analysis  would be if a researcher was interested in finding out whether listening to happy music promotes prosocial behaviour. An experiment could be conducted where one group of the audience is exposed to happy music and the other is not exposed to music at all. The participants could be given an opportunity to either help a stranger with something or not. The results are then evaluated to find whether happy music increases prosaically behavior or not.

Empirical Research

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What is an Empirical Study?

The origin of empirical methods starts from the quote “I will not believe it unless I see it myself.” Empirical observation emerged during the renaissance with medieval science. The word empirical is derived from the Greek word ‘empeirikos’ meaning ‘experienced’.

The word empirical, in today’s day and age, refers to collecting empirical data through methods of observation, experience, or by specific scientific instruments. All of these methods are dependent on observation and experiments which are used to collect data and test the same for arriving at conclusions. Online survey tools are an extremely effective technique which can be used for empirical methods.

Types and methodologies of empirical research

Empirical study uses qualitative or quantitative methods to conduct research and analyze results. 

  • Quantitative research: Quantitative research is referred to as the process of collecting as well as analyzing numerical data. It is generally used to find patterns, averages, predictions, as well as cause-effect relationships between the variables being studied. It is also used to generalize the results of a particular study to the population in consideration.

Empirical Research 2

  • Qualitative research: Qualitative research can be defined as a method used for market research which aims at obtaining data through open-ended questions and conversations with the intended consumers. This method aims at establishing not only “what” people think but “how” they come to that opinion as well as “why” they think so.

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Empirical Research 3

The empirical data that is collected from either of these methods has to be analyzed. Empirical evidence is analyzed using qualitative or quantitative methods. These methods are used to answer empirical questions that are clearly defined. The type of research design used by the researcher depends on the field and the nature of the problem. Some researchers use a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to answer the questions set for the research.

Quantitative research methods

Quantitative research methods help in the analysis of the empirical evidence that has been gathered. By using these methods researchers can find support for their hypotheses.

  • Survey research: Survey research is the most common and widely used tool for quantitative research. Surveys are used to gather data by asking relevant questions to the respondents who are thought to have the relevant information we are seeking to acquire. Generally, a formal list of questionnaires is prepared which is circulated to the respondents and they can self-report their thoughts. Researchers use a non-disguised approach so that the participants of the survey know exactly what they are answering. In general, respondents are asked questions regarding their demographic details, and the opinion that the researcher is interested in studying. Surveys can be conducted through online polls, paper-pencil questionnaires, web-intercept surveys, etc. 

For example: In market research, customers are deemed as the most important part of the organisation. It is a known fact that satisfied customers will help your organisation grow directly by remaining loyal to your company and also by becoming an advocate for your brand. Researchers can use customer satisfaction survey templates to assess their brand’s value and how likely their customers are to recommend their brand to others.

  • Experimental research : This is one of the most recommended and reliant research methods in natural as well as social sciences. As the name suggests, experimental research (also known as experimentation) is usually based on one of more theories as its driving principle or rationale. In this method, the theory which is under study has not yet proven, it is merely a speculation. Thus, an experiment is performed in order to either prove or disprove the theory. If the results of the experiment are in line with the prediction made by the theory, then the theory is supported. If not, then the theory is refuted. 

For instance, if a researcher wants to study whether their dandruff protection product is successful in curing dandruff, and the only difference between the two groups under study is the product of interest (one group uses the product while group 2 uses a placebo), then dandruff could be considered as the dependent variable and the product curing it would be called an independent variable. Now, the independent variable, here, is “manipulated” in the sense that one group is exposed to it and one is not. All things being constant, if the product cures dandruff in group 1 as opposed to the group that is using a placebo, the experimental research findings are successful. This will help in establishing a cause and effect relationship, the product is “causing” the treatment (“effect”) of dandruff.

  • Correlational research : A correlation refers to an association or a relationship between two entities. A correlational research studies how one entity impacts the other and what are the changes that are observed when either one of them changes.  correlation coefficient ranges from -1 to +1. A correlation coefficient of +1 indicates a perfect positive correlation whereas a correlation coefficient of -1 indicates a perfect negative correlation between two variables. A correlation coefficient of 0 indicates that there is no relationship between the variables under study.

Some examples of correlational research questions: 

  • What is the relationship between gender and the purchase of a particular product under study?
  • The relationship between stress and burnout in employees of an organisation.
  • The relationship between choosing to work from home and the level of corona-phobia in employees.
  • Longitudinal study : Longitudinal surveys, on the other hand, involve studying variables for a long period of time and observing the changes in them from time to time. Here, the data is collected from the respondents at the beginning of the study, and then the researcher collects data at different time intervals until the end of the study. Longitudinal surveys are more popularly used in medicinal science to understand and evaluate the effects of medicines, or vaccines, in the long-run on participants. Because longitudinal surveys take place for several years, researchers can establish the sequence of events that may affect the variable under study.

For example: If researchers want to understand how smoking affects the development of cancer in later stages of life, they would choose participants who are different from other observable variables but similar in one: smoking. In this case, researchers would observe the participants who started smoking from adolescence into later adulthood and examine the changes in their body that are caused due to smoking. They can see how smoking has influenced the immunity of participants, their reaction to stress, and other variables relevant to the researcher. Over time, researchers can also observe the effects of quitting smoking if some participants decide to quit smoking later in their life. This will help researchers understand the interaction between health and smoking in more detail.

  • Cross sectional: In cross-sectional surveys, the study takes place at a single point in time. Hence, cross-sectional surveys do not entail the manipulation of the variables under study, and are limited in that way. Cross-sectional surveys allow researchers to study various characteristics, such as the demographic structure of the consumers, their interests, and attitudes, all at once. It aims to provide information about the population at the current moment in time. For example, cross-sectional surveys will tell us how the consumer is responding and feeling about the product at the present moment. It does not study the other variables that may affect the consumers’ reactions to the product in the future.

For example: Let us consider a researcher who is aiming to study developmental psychology. He/she may select groups of people who are of different ages but study them at one point in time. In this way, the difference between the groups will be attributed to their age differences instead of other variables that may happen over time.

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Qualitative research methods

A qualitative approach is more appropriate when tackling some research questions. This is especially true if the researcher wishes to observe the behaviors of the target audience in-depth. The results here are in descriptive form. Qualitative research is not predictive in nature. It enables researchers to build and support their theories to advance future potential quantitative research. Qualitative research methods are used to come up with conclusions to support the theory or hypothesis under study.

  • Case study: Case studies have evolved to become a valuable method for qualitative research. It is used for explaining a case of an organization or an entity. This is one of the simplest ways of conducting research because it involves an exhaustive understanding of the data collected and the interpretation of the same. 

For example: For example; let’s assume that a researcher is interested in understanding how to effectively solve the problems of turnover in organizations. While exploring, he came across an organization that had high rates of turnover and was able to solve the problem by the end of the year. The researcher can study this case in detail and come up with methods that increased the chances of success for this organization.

  • Observational method :  When doing qualitative research, maintaining the existing records can be a valuable source of information in the future. This data can be used in new research and also provide insights for the same. Observation is one of the common aspects that is used in every method we described above. It can be systematic or naturalistic. Qualitative observation of respondents’ answers, or their behaviors in particular settings can yield enriching insights. Hence, observation in qualitative research is used to gather information about relevant characteristics that the researcher is interested in studying.

For instance, if a smartphone brand wants to see how customers react to its products in a showroom, observers may be hired to note the same. The observers can use the recorded observations to evaluate and draw inferences about the customers.

  • One-on-one interview : Interviewing people of interest is one of the most common practices in qualitative research. Here, there is an in-depth personal interview carried out either face-to-face or through online mediums with one respondent at a time. This is a conversational method of gathering information and it invites the researcher with an opportunity to get a detailed response from the respondent.

For example: A one-on-one interview with an environmentalist will help to gather data on the current climate crisis in the world. 

  • Focus groups :  Another most commonly used method in qualitative research apart from interviewing people is focus group. In this method, data is usually conducted once a researcher includes a limited number of consumers (usually ranging from 6 to 10) from the target market and forms a group. 

For example: Let’s assume a researcher wants to explore what are qualities consumers value when buying a laptop. This could be the display quality, battery life, brand value, or even the color. The researcher can make a focus group of people who buy laptops regularly and understand the dynamics a consumer considers when buying electronic devices.

  • Text analysis : In text analysis, researchers analyze the social life of the respondents in the study and aim to decode the actions and the words of the respondents. Hence, text analysis is distinct from other qualitative research methods as it focuses on the social life of the respondents. In the last decade or so, text analysis has become increasingly popular due to the analysis of what consumers share on social media platforms in the form of blogs, images, and other texts. 

For example: Companies ask their customers to give detailed feedback on how satisfied they are with their customer support team. This data helps them make appropriate decisions to improve their team.

Sometimes researchers use a combination of methods to answer the questions. This is especially true when researchers tackle complex subject matters.

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Steps for conducting empirical research

Since empirical methods are based on observation and capturing experiences, it is important to plan the steps to conduct the experiment and how to analyze it. This will enable the researcher to resolve problems or obstacles which can occur during the experiment.

Step #1: Define the purpose of the research

The very first step is for the researcher to identify the area of research and the problem can be addressed by finding out ways to solve it. The researcher should come up with various questions regarding what is the problem, who will benefit from the research, how should they go about the process, etc. The researchers should explore the purpose of the research in detail.

Step #2 : Supporting theories and relevant literature

After exploring and finding out the purpose of the research, the researcher must aim to find if there are existing theories that have addressed this before. The researcher has to figure out whether any previous studies can help them support their research. During this stage of empirical study, the researcher should aim at finding all relevant literature that will help them understand the problem at hand. The researcher should also come up with his/her own set of assumptions or problem statements that they wish to explore. 

Step #3: Creation of Hypothesis and measurement

If the researcher is aiming to solve a problem the problem has not been resolved efficiently in previous research, then the researcher creates his/her own problem statement. This problem statement, also called hypothesis, will be based on the questions that the researcher came up with while identifying the area of concern. The researcher can also form a hypothesis on the basis of prior research they found and studied during the literature review phase of the study.

Step #4: Methodology, research design and empirical data collection

Here the researcher has to define the strategies to be used for conducting the research. They can set up experiments in collecting data that can help them come up with probable hypotheses. On the basis of the hypotheses, researchers can decide whether they will require experimental or non-experimental methods for the conduction of the research. The research design will depend upon the field in which the research is to be conducted. The researchers will need to find parameters that can affect the validity of the research design. Researchers also need to choose appropriate methods of data collection, which in turn depends on the research question. There are many sampling methods that can be used by the researcher. Once, the data is collected, it has to be analysed.

Step #5: Data Analysis and result

Data can be analyzed either qualitatively and quantitatively. Researchers will need to decide which method they will employ depending upon the nature of the empirical data collected. Researchers can also use a combination of both for their study. On the basis of the analysis, the hypothesis will either be supported or rejected. Data analysis is the most important aspect of empirical observation.

Step #6: Conclusion

The researcher will have to collate the findings and make a report based on the empirical observations. The researcher can use previous theories and literature to support their hypothesis and lineage of findings. The researcher can also make recommendations for future research on similar issues.

Advantages of Empirical research

The advantages of empirical study are highlighted below:

  • Used for authentication. Empirical study is used to authenticate previous findings of experiments and empirical observations. This research methodology makes the conducted study more authentic and accurate. 
  • Empirical approach is useful for understanding dynamic changes. Due to the detailed process of literature review, empirical analysis is used in helping researchers understand dynamic changes in the field. It also enables them to strategies accordingly.
  • Provides a level of control . Empirical approach empowers researchers to demonstrate a level of control by allowing them to control multiple variables under study.
  • Empirical methods Increase internal validity . The high level of control in the research process makes an empirical method demonstrate high internal validity.

Disadvantages of Empirical research

Empirical approach is not without its limitations. Some of them include:

  • Time consuming . Empirical studies are time consuming because it requires researchers to collect data through multiple sources. It also requires them to assess various parameters involved in the research. 
  • Empirical approach is Expensive. The researcher may have to conduct the research at different locations or environments which may be expensive.
  • Difficult to acquire consent/permission. Sometimes empirical studies may be difficult to conduct due to the rules that are to be followed when conducting it.
  • Data collection in the empirical approach can be a problem. Since empirical data has to be collected from different methods and sources, it can pose a problem to the researchers.

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Why is there a need for empirical research?

Because most people today only believe in their experiences, empirical observation is increasingly becoming important. It is used to validate various hypotheses or refute them in the face of evidence. It also increases human knowledge and advances scientific progression. 

For instance, empirical analysis is used by pharmaceutical companies to test specific drugs. This is done by administering the drug on an experimental group, while giving a placebo to the control group. This is done to prove theories about the proposed drug and check its efficacy. This is the most crucial way in which leading evidence for various drugs have been found for many years. 

Empirical methods are used not just in medical science, but also in history, social science, market research, etc.

In today’s world it has become critical to conduct empirical analysis in order to support hypotheses and gather knowledge in several fields. The methods under empirical studies mentioned above help researchers to carry out research.

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research methods an introduction

RESEARCH METHODS AN INTRODUCTION

Sep 14, 2014

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RESEARCH METHODS AN INTRODUCTION. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh School of Education – University of The Gambia E-mail: [email protected]. “All progress is born of inquiry. Doubt is often better than overconfidence, for it leads to inquiry, and inquiry leads to invention”

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RESEARCH METHODSAN INTRODUCTION Presented By: BakarySinghateh School of Education – University of The Gambia E-mail: [email protected] Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

“All progress is born of inquiry. Doubt is often better than overconfidence, for it leads to inquiry, and inquiry leads to invention” (Hudson Maxim) Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Why Research, and Who Benefits? • As a graduate student... • To be able to read and understand the empirical literature in your field; to become a critical consumer of information. • As a graduate student preparing for a thesis or dissertation… • To be able to both design and implement your thesis or dissertation as well as future studies that interest you. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Why Research, and Who Benefits? • As a future practitioner… • To be able to intelligently participate in research projects, evaluations, and studies undertaken by your institution. • As an educated citizen ... • To understand the difference between scientifically acquired knowledge and other kinds of information. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

What Research Is Not • Research isn’t information gathering: • Gathering information from resources such books or magazines isn’t research. • No contribution to new knowledge. • Research isn’t the transportation of facts: • Merely transporting facts from one resource to another doesn’t constitute research. • No contribution to new knowledge although this might make existing knowledge more accessible. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

What Research Is • Research is: “…the systematic process of collecting and analyzing information (data) in order to increase our understanding of the phenomenon about which we are concerned or interested.” Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Research Methods Vs Methodology • Research Methods are the methods that the researcher adopts for conducting the research Studies • Research Methodology is the way in which research problems are solved systematically. • It is the Science of studying how research is conducted Scientifically Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Method: Techniques for gathering evidence The various ways of proceeding in gathering information Methodology: The underlying theory and analysis of how research does or should proceed, often influenced by discipline What’s the Difference “Method” and “Methodology”? Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Conceptual Vs Empirical • The Research related to some abstract idea or theory is known as Conceptual Research. (Ex: Philosophers and Thinkers using this to developing new concepts) • Empirical Research relies on the observation or experience with hardly any regard for theory and system. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Qualities of a Researcher • Desire for accuracy of observation & precision of statement • An alert mind. • Must practice “The art of enduring intellectual hardships” • Making statements cautiously Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Research Characteristics • Originates with a question or problem. • Requires clear articulation of a goal. • Follows a specific plan or procedure. • Often divides main problem into sub-problems. • Guided by specific problem, question, or hypothesis. • Accepts certain critical assumptions. • Requires collection and interpretation of data. • Cyclical (helical) in nature. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Research Projects • Research begins with a problem. • This problem need not be Earth-shaking. • Identifying this problem can actually be the hardest part of research. • In general, good research projects should: • Address an important question. • Advance knowledge. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

High-Quality Research(1 of 2) • Good research requires: • The scope and limitations of the work to be clearly defined. • The process to be clearly explained so that it can be reproduced and verified by other researchers. • A thoroughly planned design that is as objective as possible. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

High-Quality Research(2 of 2) • Good research requires: • Highly ethical standards be applied. • All limitations be documented. • Data be adequately analyzed and explained. • All findings be presented unambiguously and all conclusions be justified by sufficient evidence. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Sources of Research Problems • Observation. • Literature reviews. • Professional conferences. • Experts. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

ELEMENTS OF RESEARCH Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Areas for Discussion • Meaning of Research. • Definitions of Research. • Significance of Research. • Aims and Objectives of Research. • Motivation for Research. • Research as Method of Science. • Characteristics of Research. • Functions of Research. • Scope of Research. • Classification of Educational Research. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Meaning of Research • A search for knowledge. • A scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. • A careful search or inquiry, endeavour to discover new ideas by scientific study, - a course of critical investigation. • A careful search for solutions to the problems that plague and puzzle the mankind. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Definitions of Research Advanced Learner’s Dictionary “A careful investigation or inquiry specially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge” Redman and Mory “A systematized effort to gain new knowledge.” Clifford Woody “ A careful inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles, a diligent investigation to ascertain something.” Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Definitions of Research C.C. Crawford “ A systematic and refined technique of thinking, employing specialized tools, instruments and procedures in order to obtain a more adequate solution of a problem than would be possible under ordinary means. It starts with a problem, collects data or facts, analyses them critically and reaches decisions based on the actual evidence”. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Significance of Research “All progress is born of inquiry. Doubt is often better than overconfidence, for it leads to inquiry, and inquiry leads to invention.”Hudson’s Maxim 1.For educationists in studying various educational problems and in seeking answers to various educational problems. 2.For social scientists in studying social relationships and in seeking answers to various social problems. 3.Provides the basis for nearly all government policies in our economic system. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Significance of Research… 4.For solving various operational and planning problems of business and industry. 5.It inculcates scientific and inductive thinking. 6.It promotes the development of logical habits of thinking and organization. 7.To understand the new developments in one’s filed in a better way. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

**Significance of Research…** • An outlet for new ideas and insights to philosophers and thinkers. • For the development of new styles and creative work to literary persons. • For the generalizations of new theories to analysts and intellectuals. • For research scholars it is a way to attain a high position in the social structure. • A source of livelihood to professionals in research methodology. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Aims and Objectives of Research General Aims • To find out the truth which is hidden and which has not been discovered as yet. • To discover answers to questions through the application of scientific procedures. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Objectives of Research • To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insights into it. (Exploratory or Formulative) • To portray accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, situation or a group. (Descriptive) • To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with something else. (Diagnostic) • To test hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables. (Hypothesis-testing) Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Motivation for Research • Desire to get a research degree. • Desire to face the challenge in solving the unsolved problems. • Desire to get intellectual joy of doing some creative work. • Desire to be of service to society. • Desire to get respectability. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Motivation for Research…. • Desire to understand casual relationships. • Directions from government. • Employment conditions. • Curiosity about new things. • Social thinking and awakening. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Research as Method of Science Evolution of Human Thinking Man has appealed to the following sources of evidence in his search for truth. • Custom and tradition. • Authority. • Personal experience. • Reasoning from self-evident propositions. • Scientific inquiry. • Inductive thinking. • Deductive thinking. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Research as Method of Science…. Characteristics of Scientific Thinking • Science is based on facts. • Science employs the method of analysis. • Science employs hypotheses. • Science is free from emotional bias. • Science employs objective measurement. • Science uses quantitative methods in the treatment of data. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Research as Method of Science… Steps in the Process of Scientific Thinking • Location of a problem. • Survey of past experiences with the problem. • Formation of hypothesis. • Collection of data for checking hypothesis. • Analysis, classification and summarization of the data collected. • Formulation of new generalizations, or scientific law. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Characteristics of Research • Research is expert, systematic and accurate investigation. • Research is logical and objective. • Research gathers knowledge or data from primary or first hand sources. • Research endeavours to organize data in quantitative terms as far possible. • Research is highly purposive. • Research maintains rigorous standards. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Characteristics of Research • Research places emphasis upon the discovery of general principles and scientific generalizations. • Research requires courage. • Research is patient and unhurried. • Research usually involves, as a step, a hypothesis or a set of hypotheses. • Research is carefully recorded and reported. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Specific Characteristics of Educational Research • A sound philosophy of education forms the basis of educational research. • It needs imagination and insight as much as scientific attitude of mind. • It requires an interdisciplinary approach. • It usually employs deductive reasoning. • It is not as exact as research in physical science. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Specific Characteristics of Educational Research….. • It comes out of a desire to do things better. • It is not the field of the specialist only. • It generally requires inexpensive material. • It is capable of being dealt through empirical methods. (Qualitative) • It is based on interdependence of causes and effect. • Educational research cannot be a mechanical process. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Functions of Educational Research General Functions • Help the man to enhance his abilities and powers freeing him from the limitations imposed by ignorance. • Development and reconstruction of the theories. • Test the validity of the theories. • Generate knowledge and promote educational practice. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Functions of Educational Research Functions for a teacher • Increase the efficiency of the teachers. • Make the teachers aware of the ways in which psychological laws governing educational practices. • Enable the teachers to understand and evaluate the professional literature critically. • Keep the teachers abreast of new trends in the field of education. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Functions of Educational Research Functions for a teacher….. • Help in making wise educational decisions. • Improvement of the over-all system of education. • Invention of and testing new educational experiments. • Realization of the goal of universalisation of education. • Bringing a new social order. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Scope of Educational Research Two questions to determine the scope; • What are the limits of its field of operations? • What is to be included in its study? Scope of Educational Research can be viewed from; 1. Types of Research 2. Area of Education Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Scope of Educational Research… Types of Research I. Classification based on ‘goal or objective’ • Fundamental Research. • Applied Research. • Action Research. II. Classification based on ‘methodology’. • Historical Research. • Descriptive Research. • Experimental Research. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Scope of Educational Research… Types of Research Classification based on ‘goal or objective’ Fundamental Research (Basic/Pure) • Aims at obtaining empirical data that can be used to formulate, expand or evaluate a theory. • Creation of knowledge solely for the sake of knowledge. • Not concerned with the solution of immediate practical problems. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Scope of Educational Research…Types of Research.. Classification based on ‘goal or objective’ Applied Research. (Field) • Directed towards the solution of a specific and practical problem. • Testing of theories or laws in the actual field setting. • Devoted to the solution of the problems of field workers or other affected individuals. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Scope of Educational Research…Types of Research.. Classification based on ‘goal or objective’ Action Research • Focused on the immediate application and not on the development of a theory. • Purpose:- Improvement of institutional practices. • Emphasis on decentralization of decision making and action. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Scope of Educational Research…Types of Research.. Classification based on ‘methodology’. Historical Research • Describes ‘What was’. • Purpose:- to arrive at an exact account of the past, to build a perspective about the present, to predict and control our future activities. • Process:- Investigation – Analyzing -- Interpretation – Generalization -- Recording. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Scope of Educational Research…Types of Research.. Classification based on ‘methodology’ Descriptive Research • Describes‘What is’. • Purpose:- To discover the relationship between the existing variables. • Process:- Description – Analysis – Interpretation - Recording. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Scope of Educational Research…Types of Research.. Classification based on ‘methodology’ Experimental Research • Describes ‘What will be’ when certain variables are carefully controlled or manipulated. • Purpose:- Examine the impact of one set of variables on another set of variables. • Process:- Experiments – Analysis – Interpretation – Generalization – Recording. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Scope of Educational Research II. Area of Education • Pre-primary education. • Primary education. • Secondary education. • Higher Secondary education. • Higher Education. • Professional Education. • Technical Education. • Vocational Education. • Distance Education. • Teacher Education. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Psychology of Education. Philosophy of Education. Technology of Education. Sociology of Education. Economics of Education. Language Education. Science Education. Mathematics Education. Social Science Education. Commerce Education. Adult Education. Continuing Education. Women Education. Comparative Education. Scope of Educational ResearchArea of Education….. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

Special Education. Guidance and Counseling. Educational administration. Curriculum. Instruction. Learning. Evaluation. Non-Formal Education. Moral Education. Art Education. Physical & Health Education. History of Education. Environment Education. Scope of Educational ResearchArea of Education….. Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

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  2. Empirical research & Statistics

    Empirical research & Statistics Mar 16, 2020 • 0 likes • 1,074 views Download Now Download to read offline Education

  3. Empirical Research: Definition, Methods, Types and Examples

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    3.5 Limitations Can also go with discussion I like them upfront to set expectations and avoid "how did they not notice?" questions Results vs. Methods Methods are reproducible • Dates, counts, descriptives (demographics) go in results later Methods: Collection: Human subj. How did you recruit? Flyers / Mturk / snowball / etc. Were they primed?!

  5. Empirical Research: Quantitative & Qualitative

    Empirical research is based on observed and measured phenomena and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief.. Key characteristics of empirical research to look for: Specific research questions to be answered; Definitions of the population, behavior, or phenomena being studied;

  6. Empirical research

    A scientist gathering data for her research. Empirical research is research using empirical evidence. It is also a way of gaining knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or experience. Empiricism values some research more than other kinds. Empirical evidence (the record of one's direct observations or experiences) can be analyzed ...

  7. PDF Introduction to Empirical Research

    PEP507: Research Methods Introduction to Empirical Research Science is a process, not an accumulation of knowledge and/or skill. "The scientist is a pervasive skeptic who is willing to tolerate uncertainty and who finds intellectual excitement in creating questions and seeking answers" Science has a history that pre-dates recorded fact!!!

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    1 / 16 Download Presentation >> Empirical Research Mar 23, 2019 240 likes | 431 Views Empirical Research. Questions to ask about a study. What is the purpose of the study? About whom and about what topic? What else is known about this topic? What methods were used to collect data?

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  12. Conceptual Vs. Empirical Research: Which Is Better?

    Conceptual Vs. Empirical Research: Which Is Better? - Enago Academy Conceptual Vs. Empirical Research: Which Is Better? By Enago Academy May 3, 2022 2 mins read 🔊 Listen Scientific research is often divided into two classes: conceptual research and empirical research.

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  15. Conceptual Research Vs Empirical Research?

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    In empirical study, conclusions of the study are drawn from concrete empirical evidence. This evidence is also referred to as "verifiable" evidence. This evidence is gathered either through quantitative market research or qualitative market research methods. An example of empirical analysis would be if a researcher was interested in finding ...

  19. RESEARCH METHODS AN INTRODUCTION

    RESEARCH METHODSAN INTRODUCTION Presented By: BakarySinghateh School of Education - University of The Gambia E-mail: [email protected] Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG "All progress is born of inquiry. Doubt is often better than overconfidence, for it leads to inquiry, and inquiry leads to invention" (Hudson Maxim) Presented By: Bakary Singhateh - Instructor: UTG

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