In its most basic form, research is the examination of materials and sources in order to establish facts and draw new conclusions. Research is not only for academics, but all aspects, and has capacity to impact people whether consciously or subconsciously. Society is shaped in large part by research. For example, market and sociological research may provide crucial information on a population’s needs, behaviors, and motivations. It could also assist governments and businesses to design services, policies, and products to address an identified need. Research can also be used to assess the effectiveness of decisions made. Each stage of the research process is based on assumptions about the sources and the nature of knowledge. The way data concerning a phenomenon should be obtained, processed, and utilized is informed by research philosophy. Pragmatism, positivism, realism, and interpretivism are the four main research philosophies. Positivism As the famous saying, positivists are like Thomas of the bible. Thomas is said to have requested physical proof of the resurrection, by specifically asking to touch Jesus’ wounds. Positivism believes that only factual information derived from observation, including measurement, is reliable. The research findings in this type of study are generally observable and measurable. It is considered to have enabled people in reaching their full potential by breaking societal and religious constraints, particularly in the 20th century. However, the most common criticism of positivism is that human civilisation is far more complicated and dynamic. “Excessive dependence on scientific methods while ignoring human thinking leads to the conclusion that individuals are machines with only one way of thinking.” Interpretivism This came as a result of a critique of positivism. It suggests that the truth of things rests in the social constructions such as language, consciousness, shared meanings, history and etc. It explains that there are three aspects to people. The ‘universal’, one that is inherited from parents. The ‘cultural’, one that is learned, specific to a society, group, or category. And then the ‘personality,’ which is a combination of learned and inherited characteristics that is unique to an individual. Pragmatism This one is more concerned with what is practical. It acknowledges the benefits and drawbacks of positivism and interpretivism. This is especially applied in education, where a child is taught facts about society, such as laws and policies, as well as social efficiency, such as altruistic behaviours. Those who support this, argue that achieving a balance of the two philosophies allows for a more harmonic adjustment and development of a person’s personality. Realism On the other hand, these thinkers reject mythologising and imaginative idealisation. Realism is the belief that things are known, that they exist, and that their nature remains regardless of whether or not someone is considering, interpreting, or perceiving them. The rejection of mythical beings such as vampires, mermaids, fairies, goblins, and so on is an example of realism. Realists were pivotal figures in the Art Revolution. Realist painters replaced the idealised ideas and literary conceits of traditional art with real-life happenings, giving the realities of society the same weight as big history paintings and allegories. It began in France in the 1850s after the 1848 Revolution. It also improved, among other things, novels based on true stories. There are significant differences between studies that focus on facts and numbers such as an analysis of the impact of foreign direct investment on the level of GDP growth and comparative studies such as an analysis of leadership style on employee motivation in organisations. The choice of research philosophies between positivism and interpretivism has been a topic of controversy. However, recent advancements in research methodology have increased the popularity of pragmatism and realism perspectives.