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.
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. Whilst the results are always open to question and to different interpretations, there is no doubt that they are preferable to performing no research at all.
Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Of course, both naturalistic and laboratory observation are important in regard to the advancement of scientific knowledge. 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.
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.
In addition to the methods listed above some individuals also include qualitative as a distinct method and archival methods when discussing descriptive research methods. Collect a variety of material in a specific and bounded time period.
This is also used for historical studies, when collecting historical data to understand and learn from the past. Compare two groups with the intent of understanding the reasons or causes for the two groups being different. Test an idea, treatment, program to see if it makes a difference. There is a control group and a test group. Individuals are randomly assigned to the two groups. One group gets the treatment test group and the other group control group does not get the treatment. There is a pre and post-test for both groups in a traditional experimental design.
It is the same as experiment in that there is a control and test group. However, current groups are used as is rather than randomly assigning people to the two groups. Both groups receive the pre and post- test in a traditional design. Studies a human experience at an experiential level such as understanding what it means for a woman to lose a child.
It is about understanding the essence or meaning of the experience. A mixed research design involves having both a quantitative design and qualitative design. Mixed designs is the best approach if the study requires both quantitative and qualitative designs to address the problem statement.
Mixed design studies take significantly more time, more resources, and require the researcher to develop expertise in qualitative analysis techniques and quantitative analysis techniques. Qualitative studies can use numbers, counts and even descriptive statistics. Using numbers does not mean the study has to be quantitative or mixed methods.
The following YouTube video uses psychological research questions as examples to discuss possible experimental designs. Research Designs - This web link explores the main types of research design and provides additional links for more information. Choosing Appropriate Research Methodologies and Methods - The following website discusses qualitative and quantitative research methods and factors that should be considered when choosing the appropriate method. Alan Byrman on Research Methods - This YouTube video contains comments and advice from Alan Byrman, Sage Publication research methods specialist regarding how to get started when selecting research methodology.
Types of Research Design: Education Portal Academy - The following YouTube video uses psychological research questions as examples to discuss possible experimental designs.
Qualitative Research Designs - The chart in the following link compares qualitative and quantitative research designs as well as describes the various types of qualitative research approaches. Overview of Psychology Research Methods - This article describes the most commonly used research methods in the field of psychology and gives a more in-depth look at specific quantitative research methods often utilized.
Educational Research - The Slide Share presentation linked here provides a wealth of information regarding types of research and basic research design. It compare empirical and non-empirical research, basic and applied research, and qualitative and quantitative research designs.
There are three main types of descriptive methods: observational methods, case-study methods and survey methods. The 3 Basic Types of Descriptive Research Methods. Psych Central. Retrieved on.
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 designs help provide answers to the questions of who, what, when, where, and how associated with a particular research problem; a descriptive . Descriptive research is commonly used in social sciences to study characteristics or phenomenons. Also known as statistical research, researchers look into the frequency, average or other qualitative methods to understand a subject being studied. It involves case studies, observation, survey and.