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Applied research refers to the use of social science inquiry methods in situations where generalizability may be limited. Such research provides answers to questions dealing with a delimited group of persons, behaviors, or outcomes. Applied research contrasts with basic research, which has the purpose of addressing fundamental questions with wide generalizability; for example, testing a hypothesis derived from a theory in economics. Both applied and basic researchers can use any of the social science research methods, such as the survey, experimental, and qualitative methods. Differences between the research roles do not relate to methods of inquiry; they relate to the purposes of the investigation. Applied researchers focus on concrete and practical problems; basic researchers focus on problems that are more abstract and less likely to ...

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