Purposes of Research (Aims, Objectives, Goals)

The definition of research says that research is purposive. The main or principal purpose and goal of research is the preservation and improvement of the quality of human life.

Due to research, man has attained great accelerating progress and is enjoying the products of research such as the fast and comfortable land, sea and air means of transportation, the wonders of electricity like the radio, telephone, air conditioning, light in the homes, movies, running machinery for industry, the computer, the potent drugs that promote health and prolong life, and many other countless things. "To satisfy man's craving for more understanding, to improve his judgment, to add to his power, to reduce the burden of work, to relieve suffering, and to increase satisfactions in multitudinous ways - these are the large and fundamental goals for research."

For more specific purposes and goals of research, the following may be mentioned:

  • To discover new facts about known phenomena. (Alcohol is a known phenomenon and research may turn it into a kind of fuel equal in quality to gasoline.)
  • To find answers to problems which are only partially solved by existing methods and information. (Cancer is a serious disease which is only partially cured by present methods but due to intensive and continuous research, the disease may be eradicated later on)
  • Improve existing techniques and develop new instruments or products. (This goal envisages the invention of new gadgets and machines, food products and other used by man.)
  • To discover previously unrecognized substances or elements. (Previously we had only 92 elements but due to research we now have more than 100)
  • Discover pathways of action of known substances and elements. (Due to research we come to know the dangers from the abusive use of unprescribed drugs and some poisonous substances)
  • To order related, valid generalizations into systematized science. (The result of this purpose of research is the science we are now studying at school)
  • To provide basis for decision-making in business, industry, education, government and in any undertakings. One approach in decision-making is the research approach. (This is basing important decision upon the result of research)
  • To satisfy the researcher’s curiosity. (Edison was curious about how hen hatches her eggs and made a research on that and he invented the incubator)
  • To find answers to queries by means of scientific methods. One important question that may be asked which can be answered only by means of research is: In what setting is life expectancy higher, in the city or in town?
  • To acquire a better and deeper understanding about one phenomenon that can be known and understood better by research is why women are generally smaller than men.
  • To expand or verify existing knowledge. This usually happens when researchers are replicated. Newly discovered facts may be found to expand knowledge gained from a previous research or verified if the same facts are found.

In relation to the second and third, the following may be added to the list of purposes:

  • To improve educational practices for raising the quality of school products. Research surveys often result in the revision of curricula and instructional innovations to maximize the effectiveness of the learning process.
  • To promote health and prolong life. This purpose is very obviously demonstrated in pharmaceutical, nutritional, and medical research.
  • To provide man with more of his basic needs – more and better food, clothing, shelter, etc. The work of the International Rice Research Institute is a good example of this purpose.
  • To make work, travel and communication faster, easier and more comfortable. Due to research airplanes are made to fly faster, land vehicles to run faster, labor-saving machines have been invented and improved, radio and television bring news immediately to the remote areas, and more wonders of electricity are making life easier and better.