One of the many definitions of research is that it is ‘the systematic, controlled, empirical and critical investigation of hypothetical propositions about presumed relations among natural phenomena’.
In contrast to Experience, research is
- Systematic and controlled, based on the inductive-deductive model
- Empirical (one must provide objective evidence of claims)
- Self-correcting (Results and conclusions are open to public scrutiny by fellow professionals. Therefore, in due course of time, incorrect results will be identified as incorrect, and will either be revised or discarded.)
As a combination of both experience and reasoning, it has proven to be the most successful approach to discover truth thus far.
Of course, empirical research can only be applied to testable hypotheses. It has other limitations as well, which will be discussed later. Nevertheless, it remains a powerful tool in our quest for truth.