Definition of descriptive method of research

research methods

Rather than aiming to describe generalizable facts, case studies often focus on unusual or interesting cases that challenge assumptions, add complexity, or reveal something new about a research problem.

For example, astronomers use their telescopes to develop descriptions of different parts of the universe, anthropologists describe life events of socially atypical situations or cultures uniquely different from our own, and educational researchers describe activities within classrooms concerning the implementation of technology.

As an example, imagine that your professor asks everyone in your class to raise their hand if they always wash their hands after using the restroom. It implies observation of any entity that can be associated with a numeric value such as age, shape, weight, volume, scale etc.

The idea behind this type of research is to study frequencies, averages, and other statistical calculations.

Importance of descriptive research

While this allows for results to be generalized to the larger population more easily, the information that can be collected on any given survey is somewhat limited and subject to problems associated with any type of self-reported data. As an example, imagine that your professor asks everyone in your class to raise their hand if they always wash their hands after using the restroom. Sometimes studies involve structured observation. In these situations designing an experiment would be premature, as the question of interest is not yet clearly defined as a hypothesis. Given the enormous number of people involved in these studies, researchers can feel confident that their findings can be generalized to the larger population. For example, one cannot try to draw conclusions that show cause and effect, because that is beyond the bounds of the statistics employed. It can involve collections of quantitative information that can be tabulated along a continuum in numerical form, such as scores on a test or the number of times a person chooses to use a-certain feature of a multimedia program, or it can describe categories of information such as gender or patterns of interaction when using technology in a group situation. Because the human mind cannot extract the full import of a large mass of raw data, descriptive statistics are very important in reducing the data to manageable form. What is the best way to provide access to computer equipment in schools? On the other hand, descriptive research might simply report the percentage summary on a single variable. There is evidence that the two girls are connected in a part of the brain called the thalamus, which is a major sensory relay center.

Questions should be written so they are clear and easy to comprehend. While cross-sectional research requires a shorter-term investment, it is also limited by differences that exist between the different generations or cohorts that have nothing to do with age per se, but rather reflect the social and cultural experiences of different generations of individuals make them different from one another.

For example, the researcher can track if current customers will refer the brand by using a simple Net Promoter Score question.

descriptive research example

Listen for references to independent and dependent variables, experimenter bias, and double-blind studies. Authored by: Christie Napa Scollon.

Steps of descriptive research

However, the principle of inconspicuous observation is violated as reality stars are followed by camera crews and are interviewed on camera for personal confessionals. What are the most popular online news sources among unders? Questions should be written so they are clear and easy to comprehend. However, given the greater number of people involved, we are not able to collect the same depth of information on each person that would be collected in a case study. Your friend has become increasingly interested in how dogs normally communicate and interact with each other, and is thinking of visiting a local veterinary clinic to see how dogs interact in the waiting room. What have been the reactions of school administrators to technological innovations in teaching the social sciences? Surveys allow researchers to gather data from larger samples than may be afforded by other research methods. Borg and Gall classify the outcomes of educational research into the four categories of description, prediction, improvement, and explanation. Each group goes through all phases of the experiment, but each group will experience a different level of the independent variable: the experimental group is exposed to the experimental manipulation, and the control group is not exposed to the experimental manipulation. Descriptive studies can yield rich data that lead to important recommendations. To determine cause and effect, experimental research is required. Descriptive research is also known as Statistical Research. Archival Research Some researchers gain access to large amounts of data without interacting with a single research participant.

By also conducting a survey whilst collecting in-depth demographic information, offers insights about the preference of different markets.

Here, psychologists do not intervene and change behavior, as they do in experiments.

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Descriptive Research: Definition, Characteristics, Methods, Examples and Advantages