Answered By: Jeremy McGinniss
Last Updated: Nov 23, 2022     Views: 173

Empirical research includes the study of behavior or phenomena through direct observation or experience. A researcher gathers empirical evidence by entering the field and directly witnessing and recording the actions and/or reactions of a research subject.

Example: An empirical researcher studying a chimpanzee’s use of tools may place a number of different tools on the ground near the ape’s habitat. The researcher then would observe the chimpanzee’s behavior towards the tools over a controlled period of time, taking note of which tools he used, what he used them for, how long he used them, etc.  Because the research gained his or her data by personally monitoring and observing the research subject, the resulting data is considered empirical evidence.

To search for empirical studies, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the main library website at
  2. Under the Find Resources search bar, click Advanced Search.
  3. In the first search field, type the subject that you wish to research. You may leave the Search field as the default All Fields.
  4. In the second search field, type the word study. You may leave the Search field as the default All Fields.
  5. Hit the Search button at the bottom left.
  6. While this method generally yields a greater number of empirical studies than otherwise, it does not necessarily exclude non-empirical studies. Examine the abstracts of each of the results to ensure that the authors practiced empirical research methods to produce their data.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to us at (434) 582-2220 or at