Q:

What is the meaning of the descriptive method in research?

A:

Quick Answer

Descriptive research explores phenomena in their natural environment without using the scientific method. Sometimes it is ethically impossible to use the scientific method to determine causal relationships between variables. In those cases, the descriptive method in research yields systematic information about something without impinging on the rights of research subjects.

Know More
What is the meaning of the descriptive method in research?
Credit: Hero Images Hero Images Getty Images

Full Answer

Researchers want to know general information about human beings, such as what factors lead to excessive drinking among college students and what the results of this practice might be. An experimental research design would divide random college students in two groups, asking one group to drink a lot of alcohol and the other to abstain. This would be a completely unethical study because it would put the research subjects in danger. Instead of putting subjects in danger, researchers use various forms of descriptive research, which can include having the students fill out surveys, observing students' behavior in various settings and interviewing students. In this way, researchers can study students who self-select drinking behaviors. While descriptive research can yield rich descriptions of factors that may be associated with drinking behavior, it cannot determine causal factors between variables the way experimental research can. This is because descriptive research does not isolate variables the way experiments do.

Learn more about Social Sciences

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is qualitative research?

    A:

    Qualitative research usually entails fieldwork in which researchers focus on processes rather than on outcomes; this type of research does not need a hypothesis. Some examples of qualitative research are researchers studying children in school, conducting shopper interviews, doing focus groups and immersing themselves into an experience or group.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some similarities between qualitative and quantitative research?

    A:

    Quantitative and qualitative research methods are similar primarily because they are both methods of research that are limited by variables. Additionally, qualitative and quantitative research methods can be used to study the same phenomenon. However, qualitative research is most often used to study people, while quantitative research typically measures the frequency or total of something. Regardless, both methods are often capable of investigating the same hypothesis.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some advantages of primary research?

    A:

    Some advantages associated with primary research include efficient spending for information, greater control and the fact that this type of research is specific and the information is exclusive. Some disadvantages include high costs, longer time frames to implement and that this research may not be feasible under certain circumstances.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why should you use questionnaires as a research method?

    A:

    Questionnaires are a cost-effective, simple and quick way to gather data that comes straight from the sources. This research method has been used for decades to gather data en masse, but it comes with its own complications and setbacks.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore