Descriptive research design is a scientific method which involves observing and describing the behavior of a subject without influencing it in any way. Many scientific disciplines, especially social science and psychology, use this method to obtain a general overview of the subject. Some subjects cannot be observed in any other way; for example, a social case study of an individual subject is a descriptive research design and allows observation without affecting normal behavior.
It is also useful where it is not possible to test and measure the large number of samples needed for more quantitative types of experimentation. These types of experiments are often used by anthropologists, psychologists and social scientists to observe natural behaviors without affecting them in any way. It is also used by market researchers to judge the habits of customers, or by companies wishing to judge the morale of staff. The results from a descriptive research can in no way be used as a definitive answer or to disprove a hypothesis but, if the limitations are understood, they can still be a useful tool in many areas of scientific research.
The subject is being observed in a completely natural and unchanged natural environment. A good example of this would be an anthropologist who wanted to study a tribe without affecting their normal behavior in any way. True experiments , whilst giving analyzable data, often adversely influence the normal behavior of the subject. Descriptive research is often used as a pre-cursor to quantitative research designs, the general overview giving some valuable pointers as to what variables are worth testing quantitatively.
Quantitative experiments are often expensive and time-consuming so it is often good sense to get an idea of what hypotheses are worth testing.
Because there are no variables manipulated , there is no way to statistically analyze the results. In addition, the results of observational studies are not repeatable , and so there can be no replication of the experiment and reviewing of the results. Its purpose is to find information about the phenomena, conditions or variables surrounding a topic.
Some primary methods used in descriptive research are case-study, correlational and survey methods. Knowing this, look to current controversial trends in society as possible topics. But a descriptive essay is one which organizes observations into categories. Descriptive research is used to describe a population or characteristics being studied.
This is less of an essay and more like a research topic. You could have as your topic people's views of the presidential election. You can gather your research by creating a questionnaire and a sample population to poll. If education is more to your interest, you could see if there is a correlation of the amount of education a person has to their current income. You could also poll people about their health, diet, sleep habits and see if that has any bearing on days they miss from work due to illness.
One popular study done in the last few years has been for people to record how many hours per day they spend on social media and then compare that to their current level of happiness, which they rank on a scale of For your final research topic, you could look at how different fertilizers affect houseplants, but this would require a control and a variable and would not use the polls used in the above studies.
Case reports are a first step for providing clues to identifying a new disease or adverse health effect from an exposure or clinical experience. A classic example is the case report study of 5 homosexual males who developed a rare pneumonia. This case report study led to the eventual discovery of HIV. Case reports are most likely to be useful when the disease or condition is uncommon and when the disease or condition is caused almost exclusively by a single kind of exposure.
A descriptive cross-sectional study is a study in which the disease or condition and potentially related factors are measured at a specific point in time for a defined population. Cross-sectional studies can be thought of as a "snapshot" of the frequency and characteristics of a condition in a population at a particular point in time. This type of data can be used to assess the prevalence of conditions in a population. However, since exposure and disease status are measured at the same point in time, causal statements should not be made from this type of study.
It is usually not possible to distinguish whether the exposure proceeded or followed the condition.
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.
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.
An important characteristic of descriptive research relates to the fact that while descriptive research can employ a number of variables, only one variable is required to conduct a descriptive study. Three main purposes of descriptive studies can be explained as describing, . 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.
Some examples of descriptive research include case studies and preliminary observation of a group. Case studies are examples of a relevant event that can be . Descriptive research is a study intended to portray something in an accurate manner. It may involve "birdseye" observations so as it contributes novelty or may involve an in-depth case study or may involve brand-new surveys with analysis to them.