Scientific research is often classified as conceptual or empirical research. Conceptual research is often considered as research of pen and paper, which basically deals with concepts and theories. Whereas empirical research deals with direct observation or experimentation. The modern scientific method presents a combination of both the research types.
What does conceptual research offer?
Conceptual research is the preferred method for analysis in the field of social sciences, psychology and philosophy. However, this kind of research also plays a significant role in scientific research fields by providing theoretical support to practical findings. It describes the studied phenomena and provides answers to many scientific queries: What causes a particular disease? Which are the causative organisms? How can we describe planetary motions?
For answering these queries, there is no need of experiments; rather, a researcher collates previous researches to find a solution to these problems.
Benefits of conceptual research
This is the initial phase of a research and involves the development of research ideas. During this time period, a researcher spends time critiquing existing literature and identifying the knowledge gap that needs to be addressed by the current research. This enables the researcher to understand the scope of the research problem, state of the science and the literature gap. A researcher can easily break down a theorem or concept into its constituent parts to gain a better understanding of the deeper philosophical issue concerning the theorem. Through this, a general framework for data analysis can be built, which can be used by the researcher to devise an appropriate outline of the possible courses of action.
Conceptual research is a comparatively broad idea representing the conceptual context on which the study is based. It explains how various terms have been used in the research. In a nutshell, this kind of research is mainly used in qualitative studies and takes the researcher closer toward empirical research.