Section 1: Discussion Questions
- What makes this a descriptive study?
- Why did the researcher collect information about the lifestyle of community residents? What about the type of businesses present in each community? Medical records?
- Can the investigator establish that the chemical plant and cigarette smoking are the cause for the higher rate of cancer among those in Community A?
- Can the investigator establish that lower smoking rates and the absence of a chemical factory explains the lower rate of cancer among those in Community B?
Descriptive studies are usually the best methods for collecting information that will demonstrate relationships and describe the world as it exists. These types of studies are often done before an experiment to know what specific things to manipulate and include in an experiment. Bickman and Rog (1998) suggest that descriptive studies can answer questions such as "what is" or "what was." Experiments can typically answer "why" or "how."