What is descriptive research?
Descriptive research presents a detailed picture of the problem or situation. Descriptive research is in more detail as compared to exploratory research.
Descriptive research mainly focuses on the who, what, where, how and when questions.
Descriptive research reports the traits of a particular group or population. In descriptive research, data is collected to answer various questions of what and when. It doesn’t answer the questions like why the problem occurs and what are the causes. Data that is collected in descriptive research helps to examine the relationships among variables. This research is used to create hypotheses to be tested in different ways. Both qualitative (words) and quantitative (statistics, percentage, average) methods are used to collect data.
Examples of descriptive research
One of the examples of descriptive research is to investigate the attitude of the teachers towards technology use during teaching lessons in the classroom. Different methods can be used for this research like surveys and observations. Teachers can be asked questions such as what is the impact of technology on students’ learning and how they can make their teaching method better than before by using technology.
Some other examples of descriptive research
- In market research, the behaviors and habits of the consumers are observed so that different strategies can be made for selling products or services.
- An organization or company can assess the self-esteem of the employees.
- Descriptive research can be conducted on the students whether they can access online classes or not.
- The company owner wants to evaluate whether providing more facilities increases the hard work and diligence of the employees.
Characteristics of descriptive research
- Descriptive research uses both qualitative and quantitative research methods to describe the research problem. Because this is more explanatory.
- Unlike experimental research, the variables in descriptive research are uncontrolled.
- The findings of this research can be helpful in other research methods by analyzing it further. It gives basic information on the research problem that creates other questions.
Methods of descriptive research
There are the following methods that are used in descriptive research for data collecting:
interviews of different participants are organized in which various questions are asked regarding the research problem. the participants can freely express their thoughts.
In this method, the researcher observes the behavior and attitude of the research participants towards a particular topic or problem.
A case study is a research methodology in which a detailed study of a person, event, organization, or particular group is conducted. The participants of the case study represent the whole group or population. However, case-study is unable to give accurate predictions or information about large populations or groups.
Surveys are the primary source of data collection that is more popular in any research. There are two ways of the survey:
Online surveys can be conducted by using an online survey builder through which people respond.
Offline surveys include mobile offline forms, SMS-based forms, and paper forms like questionnaires.
Advantages of descriptive research
- The respondents are observed or questioned in a natural setting such as their homes or educational settings.
- Data can be used for other researches as well.
- Sometimes, it identifies specific areas that require additional research. That’s why it is also called hypothesis generation research.
Disadvantages of descriptive research
- The researcher can be biased due to particular reasons and impact the findings of the research.
- The participants may not be honest and truthful while answering questions. They may show socially desirable responses.
- A sample or case study taken from a particular population doesn’t represent the whole population.
- The scope of this research is limited.
- Descriptive research doesn’t build a relation between cause and effect.
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