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empirical research

n. research that bases its findings on direct or indirect observation as its test of reality.

empirical research

n. an empirical search for knowledge

Empirical research

Empirical research is research using empirical evidence. It is a way of gaining knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or experience. Empiricism values such research more than other kinds. Empirical evidence (the record of one's direct observations or experiences) can be analyzed quantitatively or qualitatively. Through quantifying the evidence or making sense of it in qualitative form, a researcher can answer empirical questions, which should be clearly defined and answerable with the evidence collected (usually called data). Research design varies by field and by the question being investigated. Many researchers combine qualitative and quantitative forms of analysis to better answer questions which cannot be studied in laboratory settings, particularly in the social sciences and in education.

In some fields, quantitative research may begin with a research question (e.g., "Does listening to vocal music during the learning of a word list have an effect on later memory for these words?") which is tested through experimentation. Usually, a researcher has a certain theory regarding the topic under investigation. Based on this theory some statements, or hypotheses, will be proposed (e.g., "Listening to vocal music has a negative effect on learning a word list."). From these hypotheses predictions about specific events are derived (e.g., "People who study a word list while listening to vocal music will remember fewer words on a later memory test than people who study a word list in silence."). These predictions can then be tested with a suitable experiment. Depending on the outcomes of the experiment, the theory on which the hypotheses and predictions were based will be supported or not, or may need to be modified and then subjected to further testing.

Usage examples of "empirical research".

I proved that the letter was the description of a phenomenon, and inasmuch as all the empirical research was going in precisely that direction, I gave it, so to speak, the blessing of a mathematical proof, guaranteeing that this was the right track.

Meanwhile empirical research had been taking place, though it stretches the term to call it science.

Stevenson's monumental empirical research explores the possibility that images in a person's mind and physical modifications in that person's body may manifest themselves as characteristics in a newborn.

A year and a half of empirical research followed, guided more by Dr.