Research and development may share techniques and practical tasks but they differ in purpose. Research aims to generate general knowledge, whereas development aims to devise specific systems.
Research has the following four defining characteristics. Firstly, it is based on an open system of thought. Secondly, researchers examine data critically. Thirdly, researchers generalize and specify the limits on their generalizations. Fourthly, research is a self-corrective process.
Theories are systems of statements about theoretical concepts that represent aspects of the real world. Good theories are simple (parsimonious) and testable. They are also general and useful representations of reality.
As science aims for new knowledge and ideas, creativity is an essential part of scientific thinking. Creative thinkers avoid thinking reproductively. They try to find several unique solutions to a problem before choosing which one to proceed with.
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