Archival research can be defined as the study of existing data. The existing data is collected to answer research questions. Existing data sources may include statistical records, survey archives, and written records.
Example / Application
Example: - Change Blindness Study
Application: In the video about change blindness, the participant is directed to a front desk clerk below a sign that reads "Experiment Here". The first front desk clerk (experimenter 1) has the participant fill out a consent form and then ducks to put it away. Then a second front desk clerk (experimenter 2) stands up to direct the subject to the next room. 75% of participants did not notice the change. The study reveals that our brains actually process very little of what comes in through our eyes. This is an example of empirical research not archival research. It is not archival research because there was no study of existing data. If existing data were collected to answer research questions on change blindness then it would be archival research. If the current study would have used archival research they would of not had to collect the data on how many subjects would notice the change.