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Exploratory Research: Meaning

Exploratory research is research conducted for a problem that has not been clearly defined. It often occurs before one
knows enough to make conceptual distinctions or posit an explanatory relationship. Exploratory research helps
determine the best research design, data collection method and selection of subjects. It should draw definitive
conclusions only with extreme caution. Given its fundamental nature, exploratory research often concludes that a
perceived problem does not actually exist.
The purpose of exploratory research is to gather preliminary information that will help define problems and suggest
to gain familiarity with a phenomenon or acquire new insight into it in order to formulate a more precise problem or

develop hypothesis
Secondary resource analysis/ Review/Survey of concerned Literature: When the investigator proceeds on the path of
research he has to take advantage of his predecessors. This technique will save time, cash, and effort. This kind of data
can be obtained from professional research organisations, websites, newspapers, magazines, journals of the government,
Expert opinion survey /Experience Survey: It is better to interview those individuals who know about the subject. The
objectives of such survey is to obtain insight into the relationship between variables and new ideas relating to the
research problem. The respondents picked are interviewed by the researcher. The researcher should prepare an interview
schedule for the systematic questioning of informants. Thus an experience survey may enable the researcher to define
the problem more consciously and help in the formulation of hypothesis.
Focus Groups discussions: This is certainly the most used method in research. In a focus group, only a few individuals
(e.g., 8-12) are brought together to speak about some topic of interest. The dialogue is coordinated by a moderator. The
majority of the organizations engaging in the focus groups, first screen the candidates to find out who will compose the
particular group. Organizations also make sure to avoid groups, in which some of the participants have their relatives
and friends, as this results in a one-sided discussion. Group interaction is the key factor that differentiates focus group
interviews from experience survey that are conducted with one respondent at a time. Furthermore it is the key advantage
of the focus group over the majority of exploratory techniques. Due to their interactive nature, ideas sometimes drop
out of the blue in a focus group discussion.
Comprehensive case methods
Analysis of Insight Stimulating Cases: This includes the study of one or a few situations. It is focused on complex
situations and problems; this kind of situations occurs when the interrelations of severalindividuals are important. In this
method of Exploratory Research, some units are analyzed; each unit is called Case. Study of relationships between
different factors of each case is more important and not the number. It is specifically helpful in situations where there is
little experience to serve as a guide. Attitude of the investigator, the intensity of the investigator and the ability of the
researcher to draw together diverse information into a unified interpretation are the main features which make this
method a suitable procedure for evoking insights.
Conclusive research Design
Conclusive research aims to verify insights and to aid decision makers in selecting a specific course of action.
Conclusive research is sometimes called confirmatory research, as it is used to "confirm" a hypothesis.
Descriptive Research Meaning
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.
A statistical study to identify patterns or trends in a situation, but not the causal linkages among its different elements
Types cross sectional studies
A cross-sectional study (also known as a cross-sectional analysis, transversal study, prevalence study) is a type of
observational study that involves the analysis of data collected from a population, or a representative subset, at one
specific point in timethat is, cross-sectional data.
Cross-sectional studies are carried out at one time point or over a short period. They are usually conducted to estimate
the prevalence of the outcome of interest for a given population, commonly for the purposes of public health planning.
Data can also be collected on individual characteristics, including exposure to risk factors, alongside information about
the outcome. In this way cross-sectional studies provide a 'snapshot' of the outcome and the characteristics associated
with it, at a specific point in time.

Cross-sectional research studies all have the following characteristics:

Takes place at a single point in time
Variables are not manipulated by researchers
Provide information only; do not answer why
Longitudinal studies
A longitudinal survey is a correlational research study that involves repeated observations of
the same variables over long periods of time often many decades. It is a type of
observational study. Longitudinal studies are often used in psychology to study developmental
trends across the life span, and in sociology to study life events throughout lifetimes or
generations. The reason for this is that, unlike cross-sectional studies, in which different
individuals with same characteristics are compared, longitudinal studies track the same people,
and therefore the differences observed in those people are less likely to be the result of cultural
differences across generations. Because of this benefit, longitudinal studies make observing
changes more accurate, and they are applied in various