What Is The Limitations Of Descriptive Study And Explanatory Study When Conducting Research In Public Safety?


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Rosie Normanton answered
One of the biggest limitations with descriptive and explanatory studies is that they sometimes retrieve socially desirable answers. This means that some people may wish to answer a question with something they believe the researchers will want to hear.

  • Why is this the case?

The reason this is a limitation is because the data collected through this method is no longer reliable or correct. If the answers given are not a true representation of the sample selected, then the data is entirely useless.

In a similar fashion, people may give socially desirable or made up answers in order to protect their confidentiality. With descriptive studies, there is often a considerable amount of information collected on a participant. In some cases, people may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about participating in such way and therefore give answers that are entirely false, socially desirable or over-exaggerated.

  • Further flaws

The other problem with this sort of research is that researchers may encounter demand characteristics from their participants. This is when the participants become aware that they are being observed and begin to act in a way that is not how they naturally behave. If this occurs, the data gathered is relatively useless because it is a not a representation of natural human behavior.

The additional problem is that there is not a lot can be done to eradicate the previously stated issues. If participants and their data were to be used in the research, ethical guidelines state that consent needs to be received from the participant. Any sort of deception will void the research.

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