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Research Design: Descriptive Research

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Devin Kowalczyk Devin has taught psychology and has a master's degree in clinical forensic psychology. This lesson explores the different ways that a researcher can understand individuals or groups of people, both in terms of psychological research as well as general research in other fields. Definitions Sometimes an individual wants to know something about a group of people.

There are three ways a researcher can go about doing a descriptive research project, and they are: Observational , defined as a method of viewing and recording the participants Case study , defined as an in-depth study of an individual or group of individuals Survey , defined as a brief interview or discussion with an individual about a specific topic Let's look at specific ways we can use each of these.

Observational If I say, 'chimpanzees,' what do you think? Survey A survey comes in different flavors, be it interviewing people face to face or handing out questionnaires to fill out. Try it risk-free No obligation, cancel anytime. Want to learn more? Select a subject to preview related courses: Case Study Case studies are a little more in-depth than an observation and typically a little more holistic.

Lesson Summary Descriptive research is a study designed to depict the participants in an accurate way. The three main ways to collect this information are: Observational , defined as a method of viewing and recording the participants Case study , defined as an in-depth study of an individual or group of individuals Survey , defined as a brief interview or discussion with the individuals about a specific topic Learning Outcomes After watching this video lesson, you might be able to: Realize the purpose of descriptive research Mention three ways to do descriptive research Emphasize two types of observational research Note the contrasts between case studies and observations Highlight ways of performing survey research.

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What best describes you? Choose one Student Teacher Parent Tutor. What's your main goal? 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.

Descriptive Research: Definitions

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At its core, this is descriptive research. Descriptive research is mostly used in the beginning of researching a topic or phenomenon. Observation provides the initial information needed for the researcher to form a hypothesis about the topic.

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The use of descriptive statistics in nursing research Christine llallett Lecturer, School of Nursing Studies, University of Manchester, Manchester Descriptive statistics offer nurse researchers valuable options for analysing and presenting large and complex sets of data, suggests Christine Hallett.

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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 . INTRODUCTION A research design is the framework or guide used for the planning, implementation, and analysis of a study().It is the plan for answering the research question or hypothesis. Different types of questions.

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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. 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.