What is descriptive research?

Descriptive research is the type of research that describes the people, situations, or things that are studied. It aims to answer the questions of how, what, when, and where. Rather than the why, if a research problem.

This is because it's important to know what a research problem is about before trying to figure out why it exists.

For example, an investor who wants to invest in the always-changing Amsterdam housing market needs to know where the market is now, how it changes (by going up or down), and when it changes (what time of year it is) why. For this, you need descriptive research.

How Do You Gather Information For Descriptive Research?

In descriptive research, there are three main ways to collect data: the observational method, the case study method, and the survey research method.

  1. Observation method

Using the observational method, researchers can get information about a respondent based on how they act and look without asking the respondent directly. It is used extensively in market research, psychology, and other social science fields to determine how people act.

It is also an important part of physical science research because it is one of the best descriptive research methods. We can say that this process is either quantitative or qualitative.

A quantitative observation is the objective collection of numerical data, results get analyzed using numerical and statistical methods.

Qualitative observation, on the other hand, is not about measuring numbers but about keeping an eye on traits. The researcher watches from a distance writes down what he sees, and uses that information to conclude.

  1. Case Studies

A case study is a sample group of an individual, a group of people, an organization, an event, etc., whose characteristics are used to describe the characteristics of a larger group of which the sample group is a part. 

  1. Survey Research

This is one kind of very common way to gather information for research designs. In survey research, researchers make a survey or questionnaire and give it to respondents, who fill it out and just send it back to the researchers.

Most of the time, it is used to get information quickly and directly from the source and do thorough quantitative and qualitative research. Often, qualitative and quantitative research methods are used in survey research.

A helpful tool:

  •          Online Polls:

This is a cheap way to do surveys and get enough people to answer. It can be done with the online survey builder Formplus. Formplus has a lot of great tools and features that will help get more people to fill out the forms.

What Kinds of Descriptive Research Are There?

The way descriptive research is done divides it into different types. Here are some of the different kinds of descriptive research:

  • Descriptive-survey

In descriptive survey research, surveys are used to learn about different things. This data aims to find out how easy it is for these subjects to get different conditions.

For instance, a researcher wants to find out what kind of training professionals in Maryland have. He does his research with a survey, and each question on the survey that has to do with qualifications has a Yes/No answer. According to a Professional book printer near me, the researcher can talk about the skills and qualifications of the employed people in this community.

  • Normative and descriptive survey

This goes further than the descriptive survey, and the normative element makes it different. The study's results should get compared to the norm in a descriptive-normative survey.

If the team's score is one standard deviation above the mean, it's very good. If it's within one standard deviation of the mean, but if it's below the mean, it's not good.

Descriptive status is a way to describe something quantitatively that tries to answer questions about real-life situations. For example, a researcher might study the income of the people who work at a company and how that affects how well they do their jobs.

Survey is conducted to find out how much each employee makes. Then, their performance can be compared to their pay. This will help determine if a higher income means better performance and a lower income means worse performance or if the situation is the other way around.

  • Descriptive-analysis

The descriptive-analysis research method describes a topic by analyzing it more, which in this case, means breaking it up into two parts. For example, if the HR staff of a company wants to figure out what each employee does, they might divide the employees into those who work at the company's headquarters in the US and those who work at the office in Oslo, Norway.

A questionnaire is made to find out what employees who make the same amount of money and have similar jobs do on the job.

  • Classification by describing

This is how plants and animals are put into groups in the biological sciences. If a researcher wants to divide sea animals into different species, he or she will get samples from different search stations and then divide them up.

  • Descriptive-comparative

In descriptive-comparative research, the researcher looks at two unchangeable factors and comes up with a formal way to decide which one is better. For example, a group that gives tests wants to determine whether paper-based or computer-based tests are better.

A random sample of people who might take the test may be asked to use the two different methods. Failure rates, time, and other factors will determine the best method.

  • Correlational Study

Correlative surveys determine if there is a positive, negative, or neutral relationship between two variables. That is, if two variables, say X and Y, are directly related, indirectly related, or not related at all.


Descriptive research is unique because it can look at quantitative and qualitative research methods. So, when researchers do descriptive research, they can use various techniques that help with the research process.

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