Descriptive research belongs to the field of social
sciences. It is research that describes a population or phenomenon but does not
answer further questions about them.
For example, descriptive research may
reveal that in a population of 2000 young men from the same small town 81% have
taken illegal drugs. The research would NOT attempt to answer why the young men
had taken the drugs - it would only tell us that they had.
Understanding what descriptive research means
The scope of descriptive research is to tell us the
'what', not the 'how' or 'why.' In this respect it is similar to qualitative
research, which tells us the numbers relating to a subject. Descriptive
research states bald facts, whether these are numerical or not, but does not
attempt to explore reasons for the facts.