Research is the systematic investigation and study of materials and sources to establish facts and reach new conclusions, so it shapes people’s understanding of the world around them. For example, physicists and astronomers have used research to greatly expand our knowledge of universal principles and have given us a far better understanding of the cosmos. Through research findings, psychologists are able to explain individuals’ behaviors, including how people think and act in certain ways. This helps to determine disorders and their impact on the person and society, thus developing appropriate treatments to improve the individual’s quality of life. Medical researchers do similar work which focuses on physical pathological conditions—i.e. diseases.
Research has led to the introduction of new medical treatments and cures that have helped counter several diseases, thus increasing human life expectancy greatly. It is now common for people to live 10 years longer than in the 1960s and 20 years longer than in the 1930s. Causes of early deaths and crippling vitamin deficiencies (along with many other nutritional deficiencies) have also been identified by progress made in the medical field through research, allowing researchers to help improve living conditions for millions and millions of people.