Archival research consists of collecting data from sources existing already. Common examples of archival research include sources as the census records or survey data, collected in the past. This method differs from empirical research in which first a hypothesis is made to determine the areas of interest after this the data collection takes place. An example of archival research would be a psychologist having a look at the mental institution records from the past to determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms in patients at the time. Archival research is important as this type of research along with the empirical research can tell the trends by offering a comparison between the past and the present
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