We explain what an investigation is, its methodology, elements and other characteristics. In addition, its classification according to different criteria.
What is the investigation?
Research means a set of human activities aimed at obtaining new knowledge and knowledge , and / or its application to the resolution of concrete problems or existential questions.
That is to say, within this concept the totality of the methods that the human being manages to extend in a systematic and verifiable way, the knowledge that he has regarding the world and of himself is understood .
Research has had an important place among the interests of human beings since ancient times. It is a method to discover deep truths of the universe and also to solve daily, concrete dilemmas, and make life easier, longer and more dignified.
For that reason, research is present in absolutely all fields of human, scientific, humanist or scientific-social knowledge . As a practice, it has been refined and formalized as the results obtained by it have allowed humanity to rethink its role in the world.
Those who carry out the research are often called researchers, and usually have a privileged place in academies, professional practice, the technological world and in other areas where knowledge is actively valued and pursued.
Research can be very diverse and varied, but in general it is governed by the requirement of minimum rigor, systematicness and objectivity .
It requires the application of a method that is explainable, understandable and transmissible , and has the backing of specialized third parties. Otherwise, the result of the investigations may be questioned or questioned, since there are more valid methods than others in each area of knowledge.
On the other hand, research is always voluntary and active. It implies an interrogative or reflective position with respect to the world, to our own being and to our fellow men.
All research is based on a hypothesis or purpose and targets are set along the way. Applying a method, according to the knowledge previously obtained in the area, finally reaches some type of results and subsequently, of its analysis, some type of conclusions .
Types of research
The world of research is so coarse that it can be classified in multiple ways, the most important being the following three:
Depending on the nature of your object of study . Can we talk about:
- Basic, fundamental or pure research . He is interested in purely theoretical knowledge, without bothering to think about his practical or everyday applications. It is of a formal type and pursues knowledge through knowledge itself.
- Applied research . On the contrary, it pursues abstract knowledge as a way to solve real, concrete and daily problems of humanity, thus having a greater commitment to immediate reality .
- Clinical or medical research . It is one that makes the health of the human being its object of study and is committed to its preservation, restoration or at least with the understanding of its dynamics.
According to the nature of their variables . That is, depending on the type of procedures you use:
- Experimental research . That which tries to replicate in a controlled environment certain phenomena that occur in nature , in order to manipulate its variables and understand its internal functioning.
- Field research . Those in which the researcher enters the habitat of the problem he seeks to study, even going beyond applied research, since he carries out his methods directly in the place of interest, either to understand the problem or to find a solution .
- Analytical research . It is a type of research that is based on the comparison or comparison between different variables, in order to establish laws, percentages or formal principles.
- Documentary research . It is one that pursues knowledge in documents: books, magazines, articles , transcripts, archives, etc. It is usually monographic, that is, it generates new documents from previous ones, thanks to which the written knowledge of humanity is extended.
- Descriptive or statistical research . It consists of the collection of information through survey instruments or surveys, in order to then process it and obtain statistical data that confirm trends, propensities or frequencies .
According to the level of information measurement . That is, depending on the type of questions asked:
- Qualitative research . Its name comes from “quality”, and it is the type of research that is interested in the meaning of things and in the interpretation that can be made of them, so their variables rarely involve figures or statistical data, as well as arguments and reflections
- Quantitative research . Its name comes from “quantity”, and on the contrary it deals with measurable or measurable topics, that is, expressible in mathematical, percentage or objective terms, so it is usually interested in magnitudes, objectively, without taking into account meanings, only Relationships and proportions.
Importance of research
Research is a vital task for humanity, because on it lie the enormous possibilities of understanding the universe that are intrinsic to the human brain.
What we consider today as everyday and as basic knowledge, in another era were huge unfathomable mysteries or mere fantasies. It was thanks to the gradual accumulation of knowledge fruit of generations of researchers, that today we know what we know and who we are.
All research is based on a method , that is, on a series of procedures or a way of proceeding. Without a method, an investigation would be a disorderly set of activities of free interpretation and poor rigor.
On the contrary, the presence of a verifiable method ensures that anyone can replicate the researcher’s experiences and obtain the same or similar results.
For example, scientific research is based on the so-called Scientific Method , which emerged during the advent of the Modern era . Contemplate a series of steps , principles and protocols to follow.
Thus, it guarantees that an experiment or an investigation presents the least possible amount of uncertainties, doubts and variables that are out of control, that is, that it is verifiable, reliable and verifiable, something that we demand from any scientific contribution today.