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The main goal of this type of research is to describe the data and characteristics about what is being studied. The idea behind this type of research is to study frequencies, averages, and other statistical calculations. Although this research is highly accurate, it does not gather the causes behind a situation. Descriptive research is mainly done when a researcher wants to gain a better understanding of a topic for example, a frozen ready meals company learns that there is a growing demand for fresh ready meals but doesnt know much about the area of fresh food and so has to carry out research in order to gain a better understanding. It is quantitative and uses surveys and panels and also the use of probability sampling. Descriptive research is the exploration of the existing certain phenomena. The details of the facts wont be known. The existing phenomenas facts are not known to the persons. Many scientific disciplines, especially social science and psychology, use this method to obtain a general overview of the subject. Some subjects cannot be observed in any other way; for example, a social case study of an individual subject is a descriptive research design and
allows observation without affecting normal behavior. 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. ADVANTAGES 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 more quantitatively 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 whathypotheses are worth testing. DISADVANTAGES Because there are no variables manipulated, there is no way to statistically analyze the results. Many scientists regard this type of study as very unreliable and µunscientific¶. 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. SUMMARY 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.
design.html#ixzz0j14xyLJU descriptive research, also known as statistical research, describes data and characteristics about the population or phenomenon being studied. Descriptive research answers the questions who, what, where, when and how. Although the data description is factual, accurate and systematic, the research cannot describe what caused a situation. Thus, descriptive research cannot be used to create a causal relationship, where one variable affects another. In other words, descriptive research can be said to have a low requirement for internal validity. The description is used for frequencies, averages and other statistical calculations. Often the best approach, prior to writing descriptive research, is to conduct a survey investigation. Qualitative research often has the aim of description and researchers may follow-up with examinations of why the observations exist and what the implications of the findings are. In short descriptive research deals with everything that can be counted and studied. But there are always restrictions to that. Your research must have an impact to the lives of the people around you. For example, finding the most frequent disease that
affects the children of a town. The reader of the research will know what to do to prevent that disease thus, more people will live a healthy life
Exploratory research is conducted into an issue or problem where there are few or no earlier studies to refer to. The focus is on gaining insights and familiarity for later investigation. Secondly, descriptive research describes phenomena as they exist. Here data is often quantitative and statistics applied. It is used to identify and obtain information on a particular problem or issue. Finally causal or predictive research seeks to explain what is happening in a particular situation. It aims to generalise from an analysis by predicting certain phenomena on the basis of hypothesised general relationships.
Exploratory research provides insights into and comprehension of an issue or situation. It should draw definitive conclusions only with extreme
caution. Exploratory research is a type of research conducted because a problem has not been clearly defined. Exploratory research helps determine the best research design, data collection method and selection of subjects. Given its fundamental nature, exploratory research often concludes that a perceived problem does not actually exist. Exploratory research often relies on secondary research such as reviewing available literature and/or data, or qualitative approaches such as informal discussions with consumers, employees, management or competitors, and more formal approaches through in-depth interviews, focus groups, projective methods, case studies or pilot studies. The Internet allows for research methods that are more interactive in nature: E.g.,RSS feeds efficiently supply researchers with up-to-date information; major search engine search results may be sent by email to researchers by services such as Google Alerts; comprehensive search results are tracked over lengthy periods of time by services such as Google Trends; and Web sites may be created to attract worldwide feedback on any subject.
The results of exploratory research are not usually useful for decision-making by themselves, but they can provide significant insight into a given situation. Although the results of qualitative research can give some indication as to the "why", "how" and "when" something occurs, it cannot tell us "how often" or "how many." Exploratory research is not typically generalizable to the population at large. A defining characteristic of causal research is the random assignment of participants to the conditions of the experiment; e.g., an Experimental and a Control Condition.. Such assignment results in the groups being comparable at the beginning of the experiment. Any difference between the groups at the end of the experiment is attributable to the manipulated variable. Observational research typically looks for difference among "in-tact" defined groups. A common example compares smokers and non-smokers with regard to health problems. Causal conclusions can't be drawn from such a study because of other possible differences between the groups; e.g.,smokers may drink more alcohol than non-smokers. Other unknown differences could exist as well. Hence, we may see a relation between smoking and health but a conclusion that smoking is a cause would not be warranted in this situation. (cp) This genre of research simply allows the marketer to gain a greater understanding of something that s/he doesn¶t know enough about. For example, just because we know that 3G phones exist, it doesn¶t necessarily mean that we understand how they work. Exploratory research can help in this instance. Differing mainly in design from descriptive research, exploratory research is used principally to gain a deeper understanding of something. The design is far more flexible and dynamic than that of descriptive research.
Because exploratory research can be less useful than other forms in aiding marketing decisions, dismissing can be an easy mistake to make. The research allows the marketer to gain information on a subject that they may have previously known little about and furthermore, can also provide a platform upon which a formalized research project can be built. For example, if exploratory research identifies the key decision makers in a marketplace, descriptive research can then be used to target them thus allowing for greater efficiency with the research. Used in the early stages of the decision-making process, exploratory research is used to assess the situation in hand with the minimum cost and time possible. Versatility and a wide-ranged approach to the preliminary investigation are the main benefits of this genre of research. The exploratory research can draw on interviews, observations, group interviews, secondary data sources and case histories.
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