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 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:. Martyn Shuttleworth Sep 26, The details of the facts won't be known. Descriptive science is a category of science that involves descriptive research; that is, observing, recording, describing, and classifying phenomena.
Descriptive research is sometimes contrasted with hypothesis-driven research , which is focused on testing a particular hypothesis by means of experimentation. Grimaldi and Michael S. Engel suggest that descriptive science in biology is currently undervalued and misunderstood:. A negative attitude by scientists toward descriptive science is not limited to biological disciplines: Lord Rutherford's notorious quote , "All science is either physics or stamp collecting," displays a clear negative attitude about descriptive science, and it is known that he was dismissive of astronomy , which at the beginning of the 20th century was still gathering largely descriptive data about stars, nebulae, and galaxies, and was only beginning to develop a satisfactory integration of these observations within the framework of physical law , a cornerstone of the philosophy of physics.
Ilkka Niiniluoto has used the terms "descriptive sciences" and "design sciences" as an updated version of the distinction between basic and applied science. According to Niiniluoto, descriptive sciences are those that seek to describe reality, while design sciences seek useful knowledge for human activities. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A Playbook for Research Methods: Integrating Conceptual Frameworks and Project Management.
Journal of Public Affairs Education. Science — A Challenge to Philosophy? Retrieved from " https: Descriptive statistics Philosophy of science. All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from November Views Read Edit View history.
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.
Psychology Definition of DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH: An empirical investigation to test a hypothesis or to look at conditions, relationships.
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 . Definition. As the name implies, descriptive research methods are used when the researcher wants to describe specific behavior as it occurs in the environment. There are a variety of descriptive research methods available, and once again, the nature of the question that needs to be answered drives which method is used.
Descriptive research It does not answer questions about how/when/why the characteristics occurred. Rather it addresses the "what" question The characteristics used to describe the situation or population are usually some kind of categorical scheme also known as descriptive categories. 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.