Descriptive Research Design Research Design and Its Types: Explanations and Questions

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Descriptive Research Design: Research Design and Its Types (Sociology)


  • Descriptive research is used when a researcher tries to understand the relationship between two things or to describe a particular behavior as it occurs in the environment. It is a theoretical type of research and answers ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ in a research. It is used to describe specific situations based on data collection and comparative study of time and situation.

  • The researcher does not have control over the variables.

  • The researcher uses methods of research like case study, interviews, etc.

Types of Descriptive Research

  • One Cell: When one situation is studied at one time. For e.g. economic recession of USA, we can study the effects of such an event to study the impact of a situation.

One Cell

One Cell

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Two Cell or Longitudinal: When one situation is studied at two different time periods. For e.g. the comparative study of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence act, 2005, we can study the impact of the Act by taking before and after data by random sampling method and taking two years for comparison.

Two Cell or Longitudinal

Two Cell or Longitudinal

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  • Four Cell: When one situation is studied under four different time periods. In this type of research both primary and secondary data can be used. Historical research method is also used to collect old data.

Four Cell

Four Cell

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  • Ex Post Facto: When two situations are studied at one particular time. For e.g. a study can be made to study the reaction of subjects when faced with a similar situation like getting poor marks in exam. There could be two situations, one being disappointed and second, giving self-assurance for better performance next time.

  • Panel design: When there are two time periods and two situations. For eg. A comparative study of two events viz. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 and Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

Panel design

Panel Design

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Q1. A researcher intends to explore the effect of possible factors for the organization of effective

Mid-day meal interventions. Which research method will be the most appropriate?

i. Historical method

ii. Descriptive survey method

iii. Ex post facto method

iv. Experimental method

Ans. iii

Q2. Which research can be defined as method that describes characteristics of population or phenomenon?

that is being studied ?

i. Exploratory research

ii. Explanatory research

iii. Experimental research

iv. Descriptive research

Ans. Iv


#Quantitative Methods

#Research Design and its types