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Empirical Research: What is Empirical Research?


An empirical statement describes observations or research based on actual observations. It is thus distinguished from something based only on theoretical or other abstract thinking processes. "Most well-educated people vote in national elections" is an empirical statement based on actual observations of voting behavior. The question of what we mean by a "well-educated person" is not, however, an empirical question. Instead, the answer is arrived at through abstract reasoning.

Empiricism is a philosophical approach based on the idea that the only valid form of knowledge is that which is gathered through the use of the senses. According to this perspective, if something cannot be observed, then it is of no use in trying to explain natural or other phenomena.

Empirical. (2000). In A. G. Johnson, The Blackwell dictionary of sociology (2nd ed.). Blackwell Publishers. Credo Reference:


Empirical articles include these sections:

1. Abstract

2. Introduction

3. Methodology

4. Results

5. Discussion

6. References

Description of Components

Types of Scholarly Articles

Example of an Empirical Research Article

The components of an empirical research article--introduction, methodology, results, and discussion--are highlighted in yellow in this article example.