Research – What it is, definition and concept

Research is the process by which knowledge is acquired. Therefore, its objective is the acquisition of new knowledge, the amplification of existing ones or the solution of theoretical or practical problems through a methodical and reproducible activity..

Therefore, research is not just studying, observing or analyzing. In addition, it must be done following a certain method and that can be carried out by others. These requirements are essential for science and research.

Origin of the investigation

We could say that the originator of the scientific method was Aristotle. This Greek philosopher laid the foundations for three forms of reasoning, the abductive, the deductive and the inductive. There is a method widely used in economics, which is the hypothetico-deductive.

In the Islamic world, during the Middle Ages, it was common to find students of science who were also artisans. These, while investigating, created instruments that served them for calculation or observation. Above all they used the inductive method.

Francis Bacon defined the scientific method with a series of stages. Among them, we highlight observation, hypotheses or theories. On the other hand, Galileo Galilei, contrary to the teachings of Aristotle, focused on experimentation as the basis of science.

Ways to approach research problems

Research disciplines are related to the types of research and the way they interact. On the other hand, the concept of disciplinarity implies exploring a phenomenon with the aim of doing science.

Next, we show the different ways of relating that the research disciplines present:

  • Interdisciplinarity: It consists of the creation of scientific knowledge using various disciplines. They are usually collaborations of specialists from various areas within the same science. The objective is to integrate these contributions.
  • Multidisciplinarity: In this case, a cooperation takes place between specialists from different sciences. The difference is that there is no integration of the results, but a complementarity of these.
  • Transdisciplinarity: Its purpose is a holistic approach to the phenomenon to be investigated. In this case, although we start from different sciences, the goal itself is integration. In the example we will see this in more detail.

Research examples

Let’s see some examples that better clarify the concepts seen above.

  • Let’s imagine that we want to analyze the impact of social entrepreneurship in a specific region. To carry out the study we chose an expert in economics (economic effect) and another in business science (entrepreneurship). We are facing an interdisciplinary study, since both use the same social science, economics.
  • We need to create software for biomedical research. In this case we will have a biomedical and a computer engineer. We are faced with different sciences, but they have a common goal. It would be transdisciplinary.
  • Regarding multidisciplinarity, an example would be an archaeological discovery. The team could be made up of an archaeologist, an anthropologist, and a geology expert. Each of them will provide knowledge that is not integrated, but is complemented.

Deja un comentario

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada.