Difference between “Fundamental Research”, “Applied Research” and “Action Research”

(1) Fundamental Research:

Fundamental research helps in developing theories by dis­covering broad generalisations and principles. It is organised through various procedures of research like sampling, hypothesizing facts, etc. It can be experimented in a psychological laboratory.

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Thus, in a general meaning it is more systematic activity directed towards discovery and the development of an organised body of scientific knowledge.

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(2) Applied Research:


Fundamental research sets principles while applied research utilizes those principles to know the problems with best possible manner. In practice, the researcher applies laws during his field study to draw more and more clear ideas about the problems. It is undertaken to solve an immediate problem.

(3) Action Research:

The aim of action research is immediate application but not any development of theory. If the researcher finds any problem at the time of his field investigation and observation he applies it.

Educational Research may be classified as follows:

Historical Research describes ‘what was’. The process involves investigating, recording, ana­lyzing and interpreting the events of the past for the purpose of discovering generalisations. They are helpful in understanding the past, under­standing the present and to a limited extent in anticipating the future.


Descriptive Research describes ‘what is’. It involves the description, recording, analysis and interpretation of conditions that now exist.

Experimental Research describes ‘what will be’ and when certain variables are to be carefully controlled and manipulated. The focus is on variable relationships. Deliberate manipulation is always a part of the experimental research.

Educational Research is considered to be a ‘prominent key that is essential to the opening of new doors in the field of education. It brings vividness, completeness and comprehensiveness to many complex problems in education.

It makes our generalisation more weighty, fruitful and effective. It enables us to study the uniqueness of the child and adopts appropriate curriculum, methods of teaching, and disciplinary techniques.


In recent time the researchers have taken different types of projects for analysing the actual problems in scientific manner and sets the remedies for it. It brings a great control on social life to understand it properly, in educational reforms, and also control social behaviour.

As it is the age of science and technology research has not only been developed in physical science but also in social science as well.

The many rapid technology changes have brought about an increase in educational problems. It is possible only through research projects to meet the teething educational challenges of a highly technical and rapidly changing society.

To put in brief, Educational Research is that activity which is directed towards development of a science of behaviour in any educational institution. The ultimate aim of such a science is to provide knowledge that will permit the educator to achieve the goods by the most effective method.

For its progress the researcher should not only take the present situation in one hand but also should form new hypothesis for the future.

Research in education is very much needed. That is why Educational Research is the ‘sovereign solvent’ of educational problems. Thanks to research projects in education we get better children, better curriculum, better methods of teaching, better school administration, organisation and supervision and above all a better understanding of the world in which we live.

A well-planned and well-executed educational research programme saves time, money, energy. It avoids a lot of frustration and leads us to the path of progress.


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