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Descriptive research (the design of)

In Descriptive Research a situation is described and the relations between the variables are tested to make clear what are the aspects that influences the situation.


Descriptive research is part of the research cube

When looking at the design of a research six types can be distinguished. One of them is descriptive research. This type of research will be described on this page.

Research Cube of Research Coaches


Descriptive research has this kind of design:

Research design for descriptive research

It simply says: this research is done by collecting data from a group of respondents or objects which are carefully selected on a selected moment.

It is very useful to know which aspects are important in a situation. For a store owner it is good to know why people come to the shop or why not. A nurse should know how to act in case someone gets a heart attack. Every situation and all the relevant aspects can be described. This is done in descriptive research.

For descriptive research the scientist needs to have some theory. Based on this theory, a conceptual model can be constructed and a hypothesis can be stated and tested. This will improve the theory about how to act in specific situations.

If descriptive research is being done in a scientific way, is has an impact on scientific knowledge. Read more about scientific, fundamental and applied research on our pages.

Read more about the longitudinal design in our paper: How to create research designs and conceptual models.


Related topics to descriptive research

  • Design 
  • Explorative research 
  • Comparative research 
  • Evaluation research 
  • Experimental research 
  • Longitudinal research 
  • Theory 
  • Hypothesis 
  • Scientific Research 
  • Fundamental research 
  • Applied research 
  • Model

Deepen your knowledge and read our manual about ...

  • How to create research designs and conceptual models

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