Last Updated: Aug 24, 2017 Views: 11216

In short, “applied research” tackles a “real world” question and attempts to solve a problem, whereas “theoretical research” attempts to gather knowledge about a phenomenon or idea whose conclusions may not have any immediate real-world application.

  • Theoretical research is explanatory, and leads to the advancement of “knowledge for knowledge’s sake.”
  • Applied research is for development purposes and seeks to solve a practical problem.

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