Descriptive study - a type of scientific study that aims to characterize the incidence of diseases in a given population dependent on personal characteristics such as gender, age and environmental determinants such as marital status, climate, occupation (W. J. B. Beveridge 1963, p. 28). To a large extent, the type of this study is one of the first stages of a much larger research process. This process is based on routine data collection by the relevant institutions, such as the main statistical offices, sanitary and epidemiological stations. Descriptive studies are carried out on a specific group of patients with the same diagnosis. It should not lead to conclusions, leading to generalization for the whole population of subjects with a given disease. This study also does not provide analysis of cause-and-effect relationships, it only allows to record trend (decreasing or growing) presence of a given phenomenon. Descriptive research is based on populations or units, which may be descriptions and case series, or cross-sectional studies. The descriptive study does not include control group (W. J. B. Beveridge 1963, p. 102).
Aims of descriptive study
Descriptive study strives to describe cognitive activities together with their products. The existing idiographic function in empirical cognition includes the description of a single organization or structure. It can also describe a single event, process, phenomenon, a relatively specific research problem or a separate community. In empirical sciences this description is called monograph. Its aim is to get to the details. All details contained in the monograph should be verified and selected. This allows you to formulate working hypotheses, and in the next part to verify them, recognize them as true or to falsify them and treat them as untrue. This type of examination is the final process of cognitive thought. Verifies mental and sensory cognition. In addition, it provides data that can not be achieved by either sensory or mental cognition. This research creates credible foundations for the formulation of claims, all theories or scientific laws (E. Babbie 2013, p. 49-50).
The reasons for writing descriptive study
Descriptive study results from social needs and social life. The dynamics of economic and social processes forces us to use reliable and modern knowledge that faithfully reflects the essence of phenomena occurring in them. These studies are a source of instrumental knowledge necessary in economics or social policy, as well as for forecasting and planning of research projects (E. Babbie 2013, p. 48).
The results of scientific research should include new and measurable results of creative work. New creative research may concern socio-economic problems, educational issues, their explanation. In addition, they may refer to establishing or establishing unknown relationships and values between organizations, processes, objects, structures and other parameters of the analyzed phenomena. When in the case of research procedures, common techniques or methods obtain a creation with already known and used properties and features, this is not a job creative. Then it is a productive work (M. I. Franklin 2012, p. 202). It has scientific value and social utility, but its objective result is not taken into account by the concept of creative work. Creative study should be characterized by uniqueness, uniqueness and originality of thoughts. Throughout science and scientific research, several types of creative research are distinguished. These can be scientific, artistic, organizational, technical and inventive works (A. Bhattacherjee 2012, p. 37). However, in order to be able to include both scientific and creative work at the same time, it should have an exploratory character, that is, it should solve and enable to learn about structures, phenomena, facts or processes previously unknown. In addition, it should explain, describe and search for new phenomena, methods and theories used to develop concepts, models, models, algorithms that function in a given reality. In general, the task of scientific work is to reveal new truths, to create new scientific theories. It is an empirical and theoretical explanation or reflection of real reality (A. Bhattacherjee 2012, p. 40).
Making descriptive study
Rules for making descriptive study:
- The course of research proceedings must always be based on well-known research methods, ensuring rational arrangement, selection and factual correctness of operations and activities related to the collection and explanation of knowledge;
- Presenting thoughts and zooming in on the objects studied, processes should accept strict, full and unambiguous creation of generalizations and proposals, thus ensuring their widespread understanding and probability of comparing with control results and current theories on a given problem;
- In scientific works should be kept logical consistency of content, which should be consistent with the facts and the problem of the study;
- A constant criticism of the accepted theses and hypotheses should dominate;
- The results of scientific research should present the creative character together with the possibility of their practical application or use in the field of life (A. Casadevall 2008, p. 3245-3246).
- Babbie E., (2013). The Practise of Social Research, Wadstworth, United States.
- Beveridge W. J. B., (1963). The art of Scientific Investigation, Norton&Company, New York.
- Bhattacherjee A., (2012). Principles, Methods and Practices, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, University of South Florida.
- Casadevall A., (2008). Descriptive Science, "Infection and Immunity", Vol. 76. No. (9)
- Franklin M.I., (2012). Understanding Research: Coping with the Quantitative-Qualitative Divide. London and New York: Routledge.
Author: Karolina Kurcz