Research Methods – Concept, function and examples

We explain what the research methods are and which are the main ones. Also, what are the characteristics of each one.

Research Methods
In an investigation the most appropriate method is chosen to achieve its objectives.

What are research methods?

An investigation is an activity dedicated to obtaining new knowledge or its application for the resolution of specific problems, through an understandable, communicable and reproducible procedure. It can be dedicated to different areas of human knowledge, and involve different types of reasoning and procedures, depending on the research method chosen.

The term method comes from the Greek goal-, “towards”, and hodos, “Path”, which suggests that its meaning is “the most suitable path to an end.” That is a method is a procedure that we choose to obtain a predetermined purpose.

Consequently, the research methods are the different models of procedures that can be used in an investigation specific, attending to the needs of the same, that is, to the nature of the phenomenon that we wish to investigate.

A perfect example of this is the scientific method, a series of logical and experimental procedures that allow testing a hypothesis through controlled, replicable and precise experiences, that is, through what we know today as science.

  • Qualitative method
  • Quantitative method
  • Analytical method

What are the research methods?

Broadly speaking, the research methods They are classified as logical and empirical. Logical research methods involve the use of thinking and reasoning to carry out deductions, analysis, and synthesis.

On the other hand, empirical research methods approach knowledge through replicable, controlled and documented experiences, which we know under the name of experiments.

In addition, we can identify the following methods:

  • Logical-deductive method. It consists of applying general principles to particular cases, starting from certain trial links. This happens by: 1) finding unknown principles from those already known, and 2) discovering unknown consequences of already known principles.
  • Direct deductive method. Employed primarily in logic and formal reasoning, it draws a unique and true conclusion from a finite set of proven premises.
  • Indirect deductive method. It is the method based on the logic of the syllogism, that is, on the comparison of two initial premises to obtain a final conclusion. Generally, the initial premise is general or universal, the second premise is particular, and the conclusion can be one or the other.
  • Hypothetical deductive method. It is about the method that starts from an initial hypothesis or explanation, to later obtain particular conclusions from it, which will then be experimentally verified. In other words, it includes an initial step of empirical inferences (observation, for example) that allow the deduction of an initial hypothesis that is then subjected to experimentation.
  • Inductive logic method. It proposes the reverse path: from particular premises, universal or general conclusions are inferred, either through complete inductions (all the elements that make up the object of study are considered) or incomplete (only some of the elements that compose it are considered) .