In research experiments, scholars can use both empirical and non-empirical methods. The type of methods used often depends on the field of science and the research outcome being analyzed. Empirical methods are objective, the results of a quantitative evaluation that produces a theory. Non-empirical methods are the opposite, using current events, personal observations, and subjectivity to draw conclusions.
Each of these evidence-gathering methods is relevant and acceptable, but when one is discounted over another, the results of the study might not be as valid as it could have been. The way to ensure a strong outcome is to include both empirical and non-empirical methods of obtaining evidence in your research.
Empirical Evidence Pros and Cons
Empirical methods are used when data must be collected in a specific, objective way. This systematic collection of data ensures that the information that was collected is free of bias and accurate.
Scholars often turn to empirical methods of evidence collection as their first course of action. This is often a good idea since there are many basic advantages to this method. Empirical studies take current knowledge bases and improve and enhance them so that the research performed has a higher impact on societal or academic issues. Because it’s basically up to the researcher to decide how to use empirical evidence, within the norms and requirements of the study, this method is also flexible, making it a preference for the scholar. He or she is able to adjust the size of the study sample, the type of sample they want to use, and how the data is collected. Then, when it’s time for the analysis, the same data can be dissected and disseminated in different ways as necessary.
The problem with empirical studies is usually found in time constraints. The type of data collected and the methods used can make empirical evidence a time-consuming endeavor. Additionally, data can’t be predicted completely, so any potential result has to be addressed and accounted for ahead of time.
Presenting empirical data is another issue entirely. You need enough information available to showcase your results and how they were achieved, but knowing what’s enough and what’s too much can be a fine line. You’ll also need to professionally display your results through graphs, tables, and whatever else it takes to prove your outcome.
Non-Empirical Pros and Cons
Non-empirical evidence has a basis in multiple types of publications. It’s used in theory articles when the author is trying to propose a new concept or further solidify the effects of those that are already in theory. Substantive review articles also are based on non-empirical evidence. In these articles, the author is trying to summarize concepts that they have significant knowledge about to display the relevance of the idea and apply it to a specific aspect of society. Critiques are another non-empirical source, in which the author tries to explain why someone else’s study was invalid or wrong.
All of these writings must be analytical with evidence-backed information instead of solely subjective discussions. Although this type of evidence is frequently connected to philosophy and arts, it has a strong place in scientific research as well. Personal observation methods, reflections, and experience can drive data in a completely different direction than solely quantitative, empirical methods would have taken it.
Using Both in Your Research
The obvious differences in data collecting between empirical and non-empirical evidence mean that each researcher has their own opinion as to which is better for their own projects. However, the hostility between those who prefer one over the other is slowly losing ground.
As scholars begin to realize the impact that all of these methods have on their work when it is put together, the debate turns to favoring both at least in part of their research. Scholars are ready to use both types of evidence gathering in order to cement their outcomes more securely, and even to test their own theories before publication.
Show Your Evidence With Impactio
Whether you need charts and tables to display your research impact data to disseminate your work to your audience, Impactio is the program for you. It’s an all-in-one platform with which expert scholars around the world compile their studies, publish them, and follow the impact of their work once it’s published.
When you’re ready to become part of a wide network of other researchers and experts in the field of academics, turn to the platform your peers are using: Impactio.