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Keyl Mizpah R.

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A&D 12- Tolentino

Exploratory Research
Exploratory research is research conducted for a problem that has not been
studied more clearly, intended to establish priorities, develop operational
definitions and improve the final research design. Exploratory research helps
determine the best research design, data collection method and the selection of
subjects. It should draw definitive conclusions only with extreme caution. Given
its fundamental nature

Exploratory research often relies on techniques such as:

Secondary research - such as reviewing available literature and/or data


Informal qualitative approaches, such as discussions with consumers, employees,
management or competitors
Formal qualitative research through in-depth interviews, focus groups, projective
methods, case studies or pilot studies
The Internet allows for research methods that are more interactive in nature. For
example:

RSS feeds efficiently supply researchers with up-to-date information


Services such as Google Alerts may send major search-engine search results by
email to researchers
Services such as Google Trends track comprehensive search results over long
periods of time
Researchers may set up websites to attract worldwide feedback on any subject
When research aims to gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to acquire new
insight into it in order to formulate a more precise problem or to develop a
hypothesis, exploratory studies (also known as formative research) come in
handy. If the theory happens to be too general or too specific, a hypothesis
cannot be formulated. Therefore, a need for an exploratory research may be
realized and instituted to gain experience that may help in formulating a relevant
hypothesis for more definite investigation.

The results of exploratory research are not usually used for decision-making by
themselves, but they can provide significant insight into a given situation.
Although the results of qualitative research can give some indication as to the
"why", "how" and "when" something occurs, they cannot reveal "how often" or
"how many".
Exploratory research is not typically generalizable to the population at large.

Social exploratory research "seeks to find out how people get along in the setting
under question, what meanings they give to their actions, and what issues
concern them. The goal is to learn 'what is going on here?' and to investigate
social phenomena without explicit expectations." This methodology is also at
times referred to as a grounded theory approach to qualitative research or
interpretive research and is an attempt to unearth a theory from the data itself
rather than from a predisposed hypothesis.

Earl Babbie identifies three purposes of social-science research: exploratory,


descriptive and explanatory.

Exploratory research takes place when problems are in a preliminary stage.


Exploratory research is used when the topic or issue is new and when data is
difficult to collect. Exploratory research is flexible and can address research
questions of all types (what, why, how). Exploratory research is often used to
generate formal hypotheses. Shields and Tajalli link exploratory research with the
conceptual framework working hypothesis. Skeptics which, however, have
questioned the usefulness and necessity of exploratory research in situations
where prior analysis could be conducted instead.

Descriptive research
Is used to describe characteristics of a population or phenomenon being studied.
It does not answer questions about how/when/why the characteristics occurred.
Rather it addresses the "what" question (what are the characteristics of the
population or situation being studied?) The characteristics used to describe the
situation or population are usually some kind of categorical scheme also known
as descriptive categories. For example, the periodic table categorizes the
elements. Scientists use knowledge about the nature of electrons, protons, and
neutrons to devise this categorical scheme. We now take for granted the periodic
table, yet it took descriptive research to devise it. Descriptive research generally
precedes explanatory research. For example, over time the periodic table’s
description of the elements allowed scientists to explain chemical reaction and
make a sound prediction when elements were combined. Hence, descriptive
research cannot describe what caused a situation. Thus, descriptive research
cannot be used as the basis of a causal relationship, where one variable affects
another. In other words, descriptive research can be said to have a low
requirement for internal validity.

The description is used for frequencies, averages and other statistical


calculations. Often the best approach, prior to writing descriptive research, is to
conduct a survey investigation. Qualitative research often has the aim of
description and researchers may follow-up with examinations of why the
observations exist and what the implications of the findings are.

Causal research
Also called explanatory research, is the investigation of (research into) cause-
and-effect relationships. To determine causality, it is important to observe
variation in the variable assumed to cause the change in the other variable(s),
and then measure the changes in the other variable(s). Other confounding
influences must be controlled for so they don't distort the results, either by
holding them constant in the experimental creation of data or by using statistical
methods. This type of research is very complex and the researcher can never be
completely certain that there are no other factors influencing the causal
relationship, especially when dealing with people’s attitudes and motivations.
There are often much deeper psychological considerations that even the
respondent may not be aware of.

There are two research methods for exploring the cause-and-effect relationship
between variables:

Experimentation (e.g., in a laboratory), and


Statistical research.
Experimentation

Experiment
Experiments are typically conducted in laboratories where many or all aspects of
the experiment can be tightly controlled to avoid spurious results due to factors
other than the hypothesized causative factor(s). Many studies in physics, for
example, use this approach. Alternatively, field experiments can be performed,
as with medical studies in which subjects may have a great many attributes that
cannot be controlled for but in which at least the key hypothesized causative
variables can be varied and some of the extraneous attributes can at least be
measured. Field experiments also are sometimes used in economics, such as
when two different groups of welfare recipients are given two alternative sets of
incentives or opportunities to earn income and the resulting effect on their labor
supply is investigated.