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The 3 Basic Types of Descriptive Research Methods

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Qualitative research refers to the meanings, definitions, characteristics, symbols, metaphors, and description of things. Qualitative research is much more subjective and uses very different methods of collecting information,mainly individual, in-depth interviews and focus groups.

The nature of this type of research is exploratory and open ended. Small number of people are interviewed in depth and or a relatively small number of focus groups are conducted. Qualitative research can be further classified in the following type.

A culture is the shared attributes, values, norms, practices, language, and material things of a group of people. In addition to the above, we also have the descriptive research. Fundamental research, of which this is based on establishing various theories.

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world. Research Questions and Hypothesis. Probability and Significance Test. Comparing Multiple Levels of IV: Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history. Policies and guidelines Contact us. Consequently, it can be helpful for the researchers to have some kind of additional record of the interview such as an audio or video recording.

They should of course obtain permission before recording an interview. Case studies usually involve the detailed study of a particular case a person or small group. Various methods of data collection and analysis are used but this typically includes observation and interviews and may involve consulting other people and personal or public records.

The researchers may be interested in a particular phenomenon e. Case studies have a very narrow focus which results in detailed descriptive data which is unique to the case s studied.

Nevertheless, it can be useful in clinical settings and may even challenge existing theories and practices in other domains. Studies which involve observing people can be divided into two main categories, namely participant observation and non-participant observation.

In participant observation studies, the researcher becomes or is already part of the group to be observed. This involves fitting in, gaining the trust of members of the group and at the same time remaining sufficiently detached as to be able to carry out the observation. The observations made might be based on what people do, the explanations they give for what they do, the roles they have, relationships amongst them and features of the situation in which they find themselves.

In non-participant observation studies, the researcher is not part of the group being studied. The researcher decides in advance precisely what kind of behaviour is relevant to the study and can be realistically and ethically observed. The observation can be carried out in a few different ways.

For example, it could be continuous over a set period of time e. Observation does not only include noting what happened or was said but also the fact that a specific behaviour did not occur at the time of observation. Observational trials study health issues in large groups of people but in natural settings.

Longitudinal approaches examine the behaviour of a group of people over a fairly lengthy period of time e. In some cases, the researchers might monitor people when they are middle-aged and then again after 15 years and so on. The aim of such studies is usually to determine whether there is a link between one factor and another e. The group of people involved in this kind of study is known as a cohort and they share a certain characteristic or experience within a defined period.

Within the cohort, there may be subgroups e. In some cases, rather than following a group of people from a specific point in time onwards, the researchers take a retrospective approach, working backwards as it were. They might ask participants to tell them about their past behaviour, diet or lifestyle e.

This is not always a reliable method and may be problematic as some people may forget, exaggerate or idealise their behaviour. For this reason, a prospective study is generally preferred if feasible although a retrospective pilot study preceding a prospective study may be helpful in focusing the study question and clarifying the hypothesis and feasibility of the latter Hess, The Delphi method was developed in the United States in the s and s in the military domain.

It has been considered particularly useful in helping researchers determine the range of opinions which exist on a particular subject, in investigating issues of policy or clinical relevance and in trying to come to a consensus on controversial issues.

The objectives can be roughly divided into those which aim to measure diversity and those which aim to reach consensus.

There is no limit to the number of panellists involved but between 10 and 50 might be considered manageable. The panellists are chosen on the basis of their expertise which could take many forms e. Is Alzheimer's disease hereditary?

Is there a test that can predict Alzheimer's disease? How is Alzheimer's disease diagnosed? Diagnosis of dementia Disclosure of the diagnosis Facing the diagnosis Taking care of yourself Developing coping strategies Maintaining a social network Attending self-help groups Accepting help from others Dealing with feelings and emotions Changing roles and how you see yourself On a more positive note Organising family support Dealing with practical issues Financial and administrative matters Driving Safety issues Employment issues Healthy eating Contact and communication Speaking, listening and communication Signs, symbols and texts Personal relationships Talking to children and adolescents Changing behaviour Lack of interest in hobbies Disorientation Managing everyday tasks Keeping an active mind Services Caring for someone with dementia The onset of the disease Diagnosis: Dealing with emotions Arranging who will be responsible for care Determining to what extent you can provide care How will Alzheimer's disease affect independent living?

About Incontinence, Ageing and Dementia Part 2: What implications for people with dementia and their carers? What progress so far? Launch of Written Declaration September Is Europe becoming more dementia friendly? Medical ethics and bioethics in Europe The four common bioethical principles Respect for autonomy Beneficence and non-maleficence Justice Other ethical principles Solidarity and interdependence Personhood Dignity Cultural issues linked to bioethical principles Ethical issues in practice Dementia as a disability?

Proponents of laboratory observation often suggest that due to more control in the laboratory, the results found when using laboratory observation are more meaningful than those obtained with naturalistic observation.

Laboratory observations are usually less time-consuming and cheaper than naturalistic observations. Of course, both naturalistic and laboratory observation are important in regard to the advancement of scientific knowledge. Case study research involves an in-depth study of an individual or group of indviduals. Case studies often lead to testable hypotheses and allow us to study rare phenomena. Case studies should not be used to determine cause and effect, and they have limited use for making accurate predictions.

There are two serious problems with case studies — expectancy effects and atypical individuals. Describing atypical individuals may lead to poor generalizations and detract from external validity.

In survey method research, participants answer questions administered through interviews or questionnaires. After participants answer the questions, researchers describe the responses given. In order for the survey to be both reliable and valid it is important that the questions are constructed properly. Questions should be written so they are clear and easy to comprehend. Another consideration when designing questions is whether to include open-ended, closed-ended, partially open-ended, or rating-scale questions for a detailed discussion refer to Jackson, Advantages and disadvantages can be found with each type:.

Open-ended questions allow for a greater variety of responses from participants but are difficult to analyze statistically because the data must be coded or reduced in some manner.


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Opinion based research methods generally involve designing an experiment and collecting quantitative data. For this type of research, the measurements are usually arbitrary, following the .

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Types of research Experiments People who take part in research involving experiments might be asked to complete various tests to measure their cognitive abilities (e.g. word recall, attention, concentration, reasoning ability etc.) usually verbally, on paper or by computer.

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Qualitative research is much more subjective and uses very different methods of collecting information,mainly individual, in-depth interviews and focus groups. The nature of this type of research is exploratory and open ended. 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.

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Types of Research Methods According to Nature of the Study. Types of the research methods according to the nature of research can be divided into two groups: descriptive and analytical. Descriptive research usually involves surveys and studies that aim to identify the facts. Types of Research Methods Adapted from Edvantia SBR Rating for Technical Assistance Programs and Services form () and Carter McNamara Overview of Methods .