Basic & Applied Research

11+ Main Differences Between Basic vs. Applied Research

What is the commonality between writing a dissertation and writing an essay? There is a difference between applied and basic research, but before jumping to conclusions, let’s examine the process of basic vs applied research. Whether it’s a two-page paper or a problematic dissertation, you’ll need useful references to produce a good essay.

A research approach can be applied or basic, depending on the purpose or utility. In applied research, experts analyze the empirical evidence to provide practical solutions to particular problems, while basic research aims to expand knowledge and modify existing theories.

The purpose of fundamental research is to answer the question of how things work. Scientists and engineers then use this actual knowledge to improve existing products, technologies, and processes. As a result, basic researchers can answer new questions with enhanced technologies. For advancement, this cycle is crucial.

Have you get comprehensive information about the research process? Alternatively, we present an in-depth comparison of basic vs. applied research. You’ll see how we compare and contrast these two types of studies by reading through the post.

What is Basic Research? 

The term “basic research” refers to a type of research that is entirely theoretical and focused on improving or expanding the knowledge base of an area. This approach is based on the principle of “knowledge for its own sake.” it is primarily motivated by curiosity and a need to explore the unknown. 

It is also known as basic or pure research. It refers to the systematic inquiry into a subject or phenomenon to gain more profound and in-depth knowledge about it and not solve a specific problem.

Basic Research Definition

It is performed to better understand the research fundamentals of certain phenomena without any specific purpose in mind.

Basic research is a scientific inquiry that extends our understanding of a certain topic or field. Additionally, it is viewed as pure exploration or basic research.

Why Is It Called Basic Research?
Basic research seeks to increase knowledge and understanding of a topic, event, or natural law. This research aims to gain new insights, not to solve an immediate issue.

This kind of research adds to existing intellectual knowledge. Fundamentals research seeks to gather evidence to prove or disprove a theory in an area of study. Its main aim is usually to collect data that fits its original hypothesis.

This type of research is often known as the foundation and is the basis for many other developments and applications.

Basic Research Psychology

Basic research in psychology generally guides to theory-driven, hypothesis-testing science navigated by a search for basic knowledge. Applied psychology is encouraged more by a passion for decrypting practical issues and moving the fruits of our scientific work into the real world. These are the following primary research methods.

  • Correlational Studies.
  • Case Studies.
  • Longitudinal Studies.
  • Clinical Trial Studies.
  • Experimental Studies.

Basic Research Examples

Here are the following primary research examples.

Basic Research Examples
An analysis of the various types of kiwis grown in Chile.
A study is looking to see if gender stereotypes lead to depression.
A study to discover the components making up human DNA.
A study on the growth process of oak trees.
A study on the origination of cryptocurrency.
A study trying to discover what makes up a proton.
A study on how alcohol consumption impacts the brain.

Basic Research Psychology Definition

Basic research—likewise known as pure essential research—guides analysis and study to grow our scientific knowledge base. This kind of research is frequently immaculately theoretical, intending to boost our knowledge of specific phenomena or manners. Basic research doesn’t seek to decrypt or treat these issues in disparity with applied research.

Basic Research Psychology Examples

You might explore the examples of basic research in psychology below. These are such;

Basic Research Examples
Whether anxiety levels affect how often students engage in academic cheating.
How do affection types among kids of divorced parents compare to those increased by spousal parents?
How caffeine consumption affects the brain?
Whether men or women are more probable to be interpreted with depression
Basic research examples in education: How does the human retentive memory work? How does the Language Acquisition Device work on children?
Basic research examples in business: The knowledge of the leadership style of a particular company.Studying the best factors of pricing strategies.

In all of these basic research examples in psychology, the purpose is only to expand knowledge on a particular matter, not to come up with a reasonable resolution to an issue.

What is Applied Research? 

The goal of applied research is to provide practical solutions to a specific problem. It is an investigation technique involving solving problems by applying an empirical methodology to an object, a field of study, or a research subject. 

These are generally those types of research that apply to real-life situations. To connect with the results of corresponding situations, it analyzes specific parts of those situations. Several additional conclusions are also offered in the review. Furthermore, research whose objective is to identify social, political, or economic trends falls under the definition of applied research.

Basic vs. applied research: key differences

Based on the points below, we can explain how basic research differs from applied research:

  1. A primary research project can be characterized as research that attempts to expand an existing scientific knowledge base. On the other hand, applied research refers to an academic study that helps solve real-life issues.
  2. Applied research takes a practical approach, while basic research focuses on theory and analysis.
  3. Primary research is more universally applicable than applied research because it can be applied to any problem. In contrast, it can only be used for specific issues in which it was conducted.
  4. In basic research, knowledge and prediction are the main objectives. On the other hand, applied research is concerned with developing new technology and techniques by integrating basic scientific principles.
  5. Basic research has the objective of adding knowledge to the existing one. On the other hand, applied research aims to find a solution to a problem.

Keep in mind; basic research seeks to find answers to questions about how things work. Applied engineers and scientists use this knowledge to invent, develop, and improve new technologies and processes. Basic researchers use those improved technologies to address more fundamental questions. In this way, a vital advancement cycle is created.

11+ Main Differences Between Basic vs. Applied Research

Follow the below-given information to know the main difference between Basic Vs. Applied research.

Basic Research Applied Research
The term “basic research” refers to a type of research that is entirely theoretical and focused on improving or expanding the knowledge base of an area.It is an investigation technique involving solving problems by applying an empirical methodology to an object, a field of study, or a research subject. 
A primary research project can be characterized as research that attempts to expand an existing scientific knowledge base.On the other hand, applied research refers to an academic study that helps solve real-life issues.
It is a systematic study directed toward greater understanding and knowledge. The applied research attempts to find practical solutions to existing problems.
The basic research nature is theoretical. The applied research nature is practical. 
It has universal utility.On the other hand, the applied research utility is limited.
The basic research goal is to add some knowledge to the existing one.Its main goal is to figure out a solution to the problem at hand.
It is concerned with developing scientific predictions and knowledge.Applied research is concerned with development techniques and technology. 
Moreover, the aim of basic research is to expand the existing base of scientific knowledge. In addition, applied research’s main aim is to solve specific answer certain questions and practical problems.
Basic research is pure or fundamental research.It encompasses real-life applications.
It tends to understand the basic law.It is aligned towards economic, ascertaining social, or political trends.
The applicability of basic research is greater than the of applied research.The applicability of basic research is lower than that basic research.
It focuses on basic principles and testing theories.It focuses on certain conclusions experiencing a business problem.

Basic vs. Applied Research: Different Characteristics

In comparing basic vs. applied research, one needs to be aware that basic research emphasizes expanding existing knowledge, while applied research emphasizes providing a solution to a problem. Accordingly, it can be concluded that basic research tends to be primarily theoretical, while applied research tends to be practical.

In addition, applied research is action-oriented, whereas fundamental analysis is usually logical and descriptive. Applied research is concerned with using the information in real-life situations, while basic research is about extending knowledge.

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What are the similarities between basic and applied research?

Several similarities exist between basic and applied research. Here are a few of their similarities.

  • The data collection methods and processes are the same. Techniques like surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups can collect quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Research conducted at the primary level serves as a foundation for applied research.
  • As a basis for testing research hypotheses, both types of research use deductive and inductive reasoning methods. Getting from a theory to a conclusion involves inductive reasoning. As opposed to inductive reasoning, observation leads to a close.

What Is Applied Research In Psychology?

Applied Research in psychology is generally known as scientific research. It is a field that concentrates on curing illness, innovating new technologies, and solving issues. Moreover, the primary objective is to apply it to real-world situations and conduct scientific research.

Suppose you’re an expert in applied research. In that case, you can quickly get various job opportunities. Also, there are many career paths available worldwide, for instance, master’s level psychology professional, 

Applied Research Laboratories

These are the following applied research laboratories, such as;

Best Applied Research LabsLocation
1. The University of TexasAustin
2. National Institutes of HealthBethesda, Maryland
3. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Washington, D.C.
4. French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)Paris, French
5. Max Planck InstitutesMunich, Germany
6. Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeley, CA
7. Argonne National LaboratoryArgonne, U.S.

Examples of Basic vs. Applied Research


As a method to boost learning new techniques, applied research in education provides realistic solutions to many pedagogical issues. As an alternative to this, basic research is used in instruction to provide pedagogical theories that outline the unique behaviors of educators and students inside an educational setting.


Applied research can provide answers regarding organizational policies, workplace behavior, and worker hiring processes. The primary research in psychology keeps track of various mental situations to interpret behaviors at work efficiently.

The research procedure is a fundamental part of your academic paper; therefore, you must know how to deal with it. Consequently, it is crucial to understand the difference between primary and applied research. Once you master it, the research process will become more straightforward.


According to the level of the research and its purpose, the research type can vary. Primary research can be chosen over applied research when it aims to add new knowledge, but applied research can be selected to propose a solution to the studied problem.

If you are looking for essay writing help or research paper help then don’t worry we are here for you. You can contact us anytime.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Are The Benefits Of Conducting Basic Research?

The main benefit of conducting basic research is leading to medical advances, knowledge of living systems and living functions, providing a foundation for applied research, etc. 

Which Psychologists Are Most Likely To Be Involved In Applied Research?

By contrast, engineering and industrial-organizational psychologists usually do applied research, while social psychology has more applicability for basic research.

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