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Descriptive Research: Defining Your Respondents and Drawing Conclusions

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❶The downfall to this is that some people may become hesitant and you're statistics may become flawed. The next step to effective descriptive research is to ensure your results accuracy.

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Descriptive Research: Definitions
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A questionnaire is typically a paper-and-pencil or computerized instrument that ask respondents a standard list of questions that are typically short, closed-ended questions. Questionnaires may be given to individuals or may be administered to groups. Interviews are a more personal form surveying that allows the researcher to work directly with each respondent and ask follow up questions if necessary.

Conducting interviews is obviously more time-consuming but may be very helpful when trying to gather information regarding opinions or impressions. Once the overall design of the survey has been determined, there are a variety of other factors to consider that impact the overall design of the project.

Following is a list of the most important issues that will need to be addressed and links for additional information on each. Once the survey has been designed and delivered, the data that is collected will need to be analyzed. Survey data is slightly different than data from other descriptive methods in that it may lend itself better to quantitative analysis.

For example, the researcher can examine the number of respondents that choose response A over B or C. This is especially true with data collected from written or computer based surveys and questionnaires. Surveys that are done as interviews may provide more open-ended data in a narrative form that must be analyzed using qualitative methods.

When choosing a descriptive method for a research study, surveys also offer the advantage of being able to reach a larger number of participants and collect a greater amount of data. Survey Fundamentals — This resource offers an overview of the survey process including writing questions, response rates, sampling, and so forth. Research Methods — The link below briefly describes ways in which data is commonly collected, including several types of surveys.

Introduction to Survey Research — The following set of slides provides information about the purpose and use of surveys in research, as well as an introduction as to how conduct survey research. The 3 Basic Types of Descriptive Research Methods — Describes the 3 basic types of descriptive research methods — observational, case study, and survey methods. This pin will expire , on Change.

This pin never expires. Select an expiration date. About Us Contact Us. Search Community Search Community. Survey Method This module discusses the purpose and use of surveys as a descriptive research method, as well as provides an introduction to the survey process.

Describe the purpose and use of surveys in descriptive research. Describe basic survey designs. Explain the survey process and methods for survey administration and delivery.

Discuss other issues to consider. There are several basic categories of survey design as follows: Cross-sectional Surveys — The data is collected at one point in time from a sample that represents a larger target population Longitudinal Surveys — Used to study data that may change over time.

The three main types of listed below: Trend — Surveying a sample population at different points in time. Cohort — Surveying the same target population repeatedly, but the samples within the population being studied may be different. Panel — Collection of data at various time points with the same sample respondents. Visit our Help Center. Most research can be divided into three different categories; exploratory , descriptive and causal.

Each serves a different end purpose and can only be used in certain ways. In the online survey world, mastery of all three can lead to sounder insights and greater quality information. Exploratory research is an important part of any marketing or business strategy.

Its focus is on the discovery of ideas and insights as opposed to collecting statistically accurate data. That is why exploratory research is best suited as the beginning of your total research plan. It is most commonly used for further defining company issues, areas for potential growth, alternative courses of action, and prioritizing areas that require statistical research.

When it comes to online surveys, the most common example of exploratory research takes place in the form of open-ended questions. Think of the exploratory questions in your survey as expanding your understanding of the people you are surveying. Text responses may not be statistically measureable, but they will give you richer quality information that can lead to the discovery of new initiatives or problems that should be addressed.

Descriptive research takes up the bulk of online surveying and is considered conclusive in nature due to its quantitative nature. Unlike exploratory research, descriptive research is preplanned and structured in design so the information collected can be statistically inferred on a population. The main idea behind using this type of research is to better define an opinion, attitude, or behaviour held by a group of people on a given subject.

Consider your everyday multiple choice question. Since there are predefined categories a respondent must choose from, it is considered descriptive research. These questions will not give the unique insights on the issues like exploratory research would. Instead, grouping the responses into predetermined choices will provide statistically inferable data.

Like descriptive research, causal research is quantitative in nature as well as preplanned and structured in design. For this reason, it is also considered conclusive research.


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Why is survey research the same as descriptive research? Types of surveys Before initiating survey research, the investigator must determine the format that is most appropriate for the proposed investigation. Surveys are classified according to their focus and scope.

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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 about describing people who take part in the study.

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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. The method of research which concerns itself with the present phenomena in terms of conditions, practices beliefs, processes, relationships or trends invariably is termed as “descriptive survey study”.

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Descriptive Research. Descriptive research takes up the bulk of online surveying and is considered conclusive in nature due to its quantitative nature. Unlike exploratory research, descriptive research is preplanned and structured in design so the information collected can . Descriptive research is used to describe characteristics of a population or phenomenon being studied. It does not answer questions about how/when/why the characteristics occurred. It does not answer questions about how/when/why the characteristics occurred.