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Descriptive research

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❶Want to stay up to date? The idea behind this type of research is to study frequencies, averages, and other statistical calculations.

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Hence, descriptive research cannot describe what caused a situation. Thus, descriptive research cannot be used as the basis of a causal relationship , where one variable affects another. In other words, descriptive research can be said to have a low requirement for internal validity.

The description is used for frequencies , averages and other statistical calculations. Often the best approach, prior to writing descriptive research, is to conduct a survey investigation. Qualitative research often has the aim of description and researchers may follow-up with examinations of why the observations exist and what the implications of the findings are.

In addition, the conceptualizing of descriptive research categorization or taxonomy precedes the hypotheses of explanatory research. Descriptive research is also known as Statistical Research. The main goal of this type of research is to describe the data and characteristics about what is being studied. The idea behind this type of research is to study frequencies, averages, and other statistical calculations.

Although this research is highly accurate, it does not gather the causes behind a situation. Descriptive research is mainly done when a researcher wants to gain a better understanding of a topic. That is, analysis of the past as opposed to the future. Descriptive research is the exploration of the existing certain phenomena. The details of the facts won't be known. Descriptive science is a category of science that involves descriptive research; that is, observing, recording, describing, and classifying phenomena.

Descriptive research is sometimes contrasted with hypothesis-driven research , which is focused on testing a particular hypothesis by means of experimentation. Grimaldi and Michael S. Engel suggest that descriptive science in biology is currently undervalued and misunderstood:.

A negative attitude by scientists toward descriptive science is not limited to biological disciplines: In order for the survey to be both reliable and valid it is important that the questions are constructed properly. Questions should be written so they are clear and easy to comprehend. Another consideration when designing questions is whether to include open-ended, closed-ended, partially open-ended, or rating-scale questions for a detailed discussion refer to Jackson, Advantages and disadvantages can be found with each type:.

Open-ended questions allow for a greater variety of responses from participants but are difficult to analyze statistically because the data must be coded or reduced in some manner.

Closed-ended questions are easy to analyze statistically, but they seriously limit the responses that participants can give. In addition to the methods listed above some individuals also include qualitative as a distinct method and archival methods when discussing descriptive research methods.

It is important to emphasize that descriptive research methods can only describe a set of observations or the data collected.

It cannot draw conclusions from that data about which way the relationship goes — Does A cause B, or does B cause A?

Nothing could be further from the truth. Research Methods and Statistics: A Critical Thinking Approach 3rd edition. Jamie has written seven books and co-authored one. Find help or get online counseling now. By Jamie Hale, M.

Observational Method With the observational method sometimes referred to as field observation animal and human behavior is closely observed. Ecological validity refers to the extent to which research can be used in real-life situations. Case Study Method Case study research involves an in-depth study of an individual or group of indviduals. Survey Method In survey method research, participants answer questions administered through interviews or questionnaires. Advantages and disadvantages can be found with each type: Retrieved on September 14, , from https: Hot Topics Today 1.


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Descriptive research is a study designed to depict the participants in an accurate way. More simply put, descriptive research is all about describing people who take part in the study. More simply put, descriptive research is all about describing people who take part in the study.

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Definition. As the name implies, descriptive research methods are used when the researcher wants to describe specific behavior as it occurs in the environment. There are a variety of descriptive research methods available, and once again, the nature of the question that needs to .

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Descriptive research design is a valid method for researching specific subjects and as a precursor to more quantitative studies. Whilst there are some valid concerns about the statistical validity, as long as the limitations are understood by the researcher, this type of study is an invaluable scientific tool. descriptive research research that provides an accurate portrayal of characteristics of a particular individual, situation, or group. These studies are a means of discovering new meaning, describing what exists, determining the frequency with which something occurs, and categorizing information.

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The descriptive research is aimed at the definition of the competitive structure of a market / segment, or the description of the behavior of organizations or groups of consumers. The information is treated in a quantitative manner, basing the design of research on a sample that gives answers generalizable to a reference population (or market segment). Descriptive research methods are pretty much as they sound — they describe situations. They do not make accurate predictions, and they do not determine cause and effect. There are three main types of descriptive methods: observational methods, case-study methods and survey methods.