Descriptive Study Designs

Published: 2023-01-05
Descriptive Study Designs
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership analysis Sociology Research Science
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1261 words
11 min read

Study designs are the various approaches that are employed in carrying out a particular research or investigation. There are two types of study designs namely qualitative and quantitative study designs. Qualitative study designs are a thematic kind of study design that collects data in a thematic manner. Quantitative studies on the other hand collect data in numeric forms which is represented in figures. Descriptive study design can utilize both qualitative and quantitative study design. The type of approach to be utilized is determined by the type of research question the researcher wants to find a solution to. Descriptive study design can use quantitative approach when it needs to answer a question that needs the determination of quantity such as how many patients are handled by one doctor. Alternatively, descriptive study designs can use qualitative approach when need for explanation arises such as the reaction of people towards the implementation of a certain policy by the government. Descriptive studies involve the utilization of surveys, observation and sometimes case studies. Observation merely involves viewing and video recording the research participants, case study is an in-depth examination of a participating person or a cluster of people, whereas survey involves involve a short interview or discussion with a person or a group of people concerning a certain select topic. This paper will focus on three peer-reviewed articles that were conducted using descriptive study in psychology, providing a description of each study concerning the design used and the type of descriptive statistics conducted.

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The first article that will be reviewed is "Why absolute rudeness impresses absolutely" which is a research that was published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science. This type of research uses observation as its descriptive study approach. The study members read of a visiting person who entered an office and poured himself a cup of coffee despite it being meant for employees alone without questioning. Consequently, they read of a librarian who dodged accounting laws in a fragrant manner. The participants later rule in favor of those who broke laws saying that they looked much in control and stronger than those who faithfully obeyed regulations. During a follow up investigation, participants were made to watch a clip of a male in a sidewalk cafe putting his legs on another chair, tapping cigarette ashes on the floor and ordering a meal rudely. These participants later said that this man was most likely to make people listen to him as well as make a decision easily than those individuals who saw the same man doing all those things politely (Know-howbyHadiqaJaved,2017) . Generally, this study tries to indicate that reversing the norms is seen by others as a sign of one being more powerful even though some observes can consider that as being rude. This study involves making the participants watch or read of people with different behaviors then later the participants are given freedom to give their thought concerning the person they had watched or read about. The researcher collects thematic information in that the explanation of the event is the one relayed.

Another article that has been reviewed and reflected in this paper is the one on "Why Relaxed Shoppers Spend More Money". From this study it was observed being in a relaxed state made someone unable to make smart shopping decision. This study was conducted in 2011 and it indicates that the more relaxed a person is the more likely he or she is going to spend a lot of money especially on unnecessary items. The investigators in this study used video clips and music that had been preset for their effect in previous studies to induce the relaxation state in the 670 participants involved here (DiSalvo, 2011).

This is a case study in that the investigation involves the use of two groups of individuals who are exposed to two different conditions so as to obtain a desired result. One group is presented with relaxation conditions while the other is conditioned in conducive condition but not as relaxing as the other one. The participants were then presented with a variety of goods to choose from and requested to weigh their financial worth utilizing a number of approaches such as ordering products on an online auction. During the initial studies, it was shown that those members who were more peaceful bid almost 11% higher for a digital camera than those who were less calm. Further, the less peaceful members' bids were nearer the actual worth of the product. The same results reflected in the other studies with more comfortable shoppers overestimating the value of products by close to 15% on average. Other items such as cruise and spa management were also evaluated and it was consequently observed that the behavior of relaxed members reflected across board. The researchers later concluded that the reason why relaxed individuals spend more than less peaceful people is because; at a peaceful state the brain envisages little threat (DiSalvo, 2011).

This study utilized a quantitative method in that the researcher observed the type of shopping behavior an individual portrayed when relaxed as compared to when less peaceful. The researchers evaluated the number of participants with particular shopping behavior when in a specific state of mind as compared to a group of people in a different state of mind and try to evaluate and come up with a reason why the said individuals behave in such perceived ways. This study involved the evaluation of the frequencies and charts in the analysis of the results obtained in the study.

The third and last article about descriptive studies in psychology that I will review is that on why fake cigarettes help some quit smoking. This is an investigation conducted in 2011 and was published in the European Respiratory Journal. This study suggest that majority of the smoker can actually abandon smoking by channeling their focus on behavioral reliance aspect of their habit. For instance, by just putting an object that is cylindrical in shape in their mouth aids to reduce the urge to smoke. The number of participants in this study was 120 and this study was constructed to help them quit the smoking habit.

The investigators split the smokers into two groups with one receiving plastic, non-nicotine inhalers as treatment (fake cigarette) while the other group followed a typical program to relinquish smoking. The investigators moreover evaluated the participants using questionnaires that had been premeditated in a way to decide physical and behavioral obsession to smoking. When the results were evaluated after 24 weeks, those participants who had been given fake cigarettes and who had been recognized as heavy smokers were observed to have a quit rate of close to three and a half times than the ones who had been given the typical management. This research had a remarkable finding in that in case all participants were left to follow the typical method of treatment, then many would have failed. This study utilizes a case study approach to view how particular individuals responded to a particular type of treatment in a given period of time (DiSalvo, 2011).

From the reviewed articles, it is seen that there are different types of descriptive studies that include observation and case study. The descriptive study can utilize qualitative as well as quantitative study. It is observed that the type of approach adopted is dependent on the type of study to be conducted. Different investigations require distinct type of study approaches.


DiSalvo David. 2011. Ten Impressive Psychology Studies from 2011. Retrieved from

Know-howbyHadiqaJaved. 2017. Do you know absolute Rudeness impresses absolutely. Retrieved from m=1

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