Types of Research

Descriptive Research-This type of research include survey and fact finding inquiries of different kinds.In this type of research the researcher has no control over the variables.He can only report what has happened/happening.The researcher measures items such as frequency of shopping,preferences of peoples etc.

Experimental/Empirical Research- This type of research relies on experience and observation alone.It is a data based research, coming up with conclusion which are capable of being verified by observation/experiment.here researcher attempts to control/manipulate the variables in the study, Empirical research is appropriate when proof is such that certain variables affects other in same way.

Applied/Action Research-It finds a solution for an immediate problem facing by society/industry/organizations.(Example-To find out reasons for product failure)

Fundamental/Pure/Basic Research- It is concerned with the generalization and with formulation of a theory.Gathering knowledge for the sake of knowledge is termed as pure/basic/Fundamental research.(Example-Laws of gravity, Finding life on other planets)

Cross sectional/One Time Research-It is carried out once and represents a snapshot of one point in time.i.e. research is confined to a single time period.

Longitudinal Research-It is carried out repeatedly over time on several periods.The main advantage of this study is that it takes changes over time.

Laboratory Research- Research study also differs as whether they occur under actual environmental conditions(Field based Research) or under staged condition(Laboratory Experiments)

Simulation based Research-(Simulation replicate the essence of a system or process)Simulation refers to the representation of various actual situations and relationships in the form of mathematical models.

Exploratory Research-It focuses on the development of hypothesis rather then testing.

Formal Research- Here studies are done with substantial structures and with specific hypothesis to be tested.

Conclusion oriented Research-Here researcher is free to pick up a problem, redesign the enquiery and prepare to conceptualize as he wishes.

Decision oriented Research-It is always for the need of decision maker and the researcher in this case is not free to do the research according to his own inclination.

Qualitative Research-It is concerned with subjective assessment of attitude,opinions and behavior to bring forward the research insights.(it includes interviews, Predicate techniques, Depth interviews)

Quantitative Research- It involves generation of data in quantitative form which can be subjected to the rigorous quantitative analysis in a normal and rigid fashion.This approach can be sub classified into: Statistical approach,Experimental approach,Simulation approach.

Clinical/Diagnostic Research- It uses case study method or in depth approaches to reach the basic causal relations.This study go deep into the causes of things or events that interests using very deep probing data gathering devices.

Statistical Research-These researches are designed for bredth tather than depth.They attempts to capture a population's charactership

Following table classifies various types of research.


  • Researcher's control over variables
  • Purpose of study
  • Time Dimension
  • Research Environment
  • Degree to which research question is crystallized
  • Scope of research
  • Nature of data


Descriptive Research

Applied Research

One time

Field Setting

Conclusion oriented Research

Clinical research



Experimental or Empirical research

Fundamental Research

Longitudinal Research

Laboratory Research and Simulation based research(Type-3)

Decision Oriented Research

Statistical research