11 Honest Difference between Basic and Applied Research

What is the difference between basic and applied research?

Basic and applied research are the two main types of research. They are typically used in different disciplines and studies.

The main difference between basic and applied research is that Basic Research refers to the study that is aimed at expanding the existing base of scientific knowledge while Applied Research is the research that is designed to solve specific practical problems or answer certain questions.

The lesson provides a detailed insight into the difference between basic and applied research for those students pursuing their studies.

Difference between Basic and Applied Research

What Is Basic Research?

Basic Research is also known as pure or fundamental research. The research entails the focus of advancing scientific knowledge for a complete understanding of a topic.

The core aim of basic research is to understand basic law and it tends to focus on principles as well as testing theories.

Therefore, the research deals with generalization and formulation of theories involving human behaviour. We use basic research to add knowledge to the existing knowledge.

What Is Applied Research?

Applied research is a type of research that deals with the real-life application of natural science. The main of the research is to provide a solution to particular practical problems.

Besides that, the research facilitates the development of innovative technology. The research also studies specific circumstance by relating its result.

Therefore, applied research mainly deals with providing conclusions to the problems experienced by the businesses.

Precisely, the research aim at aligning social, economic or political trends in the society for a better living standard.

Comparison Chart: Basic Vs Applied Research

Basic Terms Basic Research Applied Research
Core PurposeExpand current knowledgeSolve a particular problem in life
NatureGeneral to formulate theoriesMore practical and descriptive
ScopeOften universalLargely specific
TechnologyLess improvemore improve
FuturePredict future phenomenaPrevent predicted problems
DriveDriven by curiosityDriven by clients
Commercial ObjectivesNot requiredAssociated with commercial processes
EconomyFormulation of theoriesDevelopment of economy
EnvironmentSterile or highly-controlled environmentReal-world settings
Academic PublicationsNot appear anywhereAppear in academic publications
Concerned withDeveloping scientific knowledge and predictionsDevelopment of technology and technique

Main Difference between Basic and Applied Research

  1. Basic research expand the current knowledge while applied research solve certain life problems
  2. Basic research is more of theoretical and explanatory in nature while applied research is more of practical and descriptive nature
  3. Basic research has a wider scope unlike applied research which is more specific in scope
  4. Basic research is less associated with technology whereas applied research is more associated with research
  5. Basic research predicts future phenomenon while applied research prevents predicted problems from occurring.
  6. Basic research is driven by curiosity while applied research by client
  7. Applied research has commercial objectives unlike basic research
  8. Applied research is more connected with the economy while basic research is less connected
  9. Applied research appears in much academic publication unlike basic research
  10. Basic research occurs in a sterile environment whereas applied research in real-world settings.

Comparison Video


The core branches of research are basic and applied research. One can either opt for basic research or applied research depending on the purpose.

The core difference between basic and applied research is based on the purpose. Applied research is commonly used in academic publications, unlike basic research.

More Sources and References

  • https://study.com/academy/lesson/basic-research-and-applied-research-definitions-and-differences.html#:~:text=Applied%20research%20is%20research%20that,directly%20applicable%20or%20useful%20immediately.
  • https://www.formpl.us/blog/basic-applied-research
  • https://www.sjsu.edu/people/fred.prochaska/courses/ScWk170/s0/Basic-vs.-Applied-Research.pdf

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