Search this Handbook for: Descriptive research does not fit neatly into the definition of either quantitative or qualitative research methodologies, but instead it can utilize elements of both, often within the same study.
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: This article will briefly describe each of these methods, their advantages, and their drawbacks. This may help you better understand research findings, whether reported in the mainstream media, or when reading a research study on your own.
Observational Method With the observational method sometimes referred to as field observation animal and human behavior is closely observed.
There are two main categories of the observational method — naturalistic observation and laboratory observation. The biggest advantage of the naturalistic method of research is that researchers view participants in their natural environments.
This leads to greater ecological validity than laboratory observation, proponents say.
Ecological validity refers to the extent to which research can be used in real-life situations. Proponents of laboratory observation often suggest that due to more control in the laboratory, the results found when using laboratory observation are more meaningful than those obtained with naturalistic observation.
Laboratory observations are usually less time-consuming and cheaper than naturalistic observations. Of course, both naturalistic and laboratory observation are important in regard to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
Case Study Method Case study research involves an in-depth study of an individual or group of indviduals. Case studies often lead to testable hypotheses and allow us to study rare phenomena. Case studies should not be used to determine cause and effect, and they have limited use for making accurate predictions.
There are two serious problems with case studies — expectancy effects and atypical individuals. Describing atypical individuals may lead to poor generalizations and detract from external validity.
Survey Method In survey method research, participants answer questions administered through interviews or questionnaires. After participants answer the questions, researchers describe the responses given.
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. 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.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. 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. 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 . The method of research which concerns itself with the present phenomena in terms of conditions, practices beliefs, processes, relationships or trends invariably is termed as “descriptive survey study”. 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.