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Descriptive research is designed to get a picture of
peoples, thoughts, behaviors and feelings in a group of people. The goal is not
to make accurate predictions or determine cause and effect. There are three distinct
types of descriptive methods: naturalistic methods, case study methods, and survey

Case Study:

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The case Study method researches an individual or a group in
depth, in order to reveal principles that can be applied to a larger
population. A researcher may randomly select an individual or a small group of
individuals that have depression and conduct intensive research on, for
example, their cognitive processes and use this information to develop universal



The survey method is the descriptive technique in which many
cases are observed in less depth that are aimed to represent a larger
population and asks participants to report on self-behaviors or opinions. A
researcher may administer questions regarding depression in the form of interviews,
surveys, or questionnaires to a random sample of participants.


Naturalistic Observation:

The naturalistic Observation method records and observes
behavior in naturally occurring environments or situations. For example, a
behavioral psychologist may observe and record the social interactions and body
language of depressed teens at schools during lunch hours, without trying to
manipulate or control the situation.


2).  Correlation:

 In contrast to descriptive
methods which are designed to simply bserve ad record behaviors without control
of variables, correlational research involves the measurement two or more variables/factors
and asses the relationship between or among these variables. However correlational
research does not prove causation and only indicates a possibility of a
cause-effect relationship.

A researcher may use the correlation method to infer the relationship
between exercise and depression by collecting two set of data.  Total number of hours spent exercising over a
span of time (a week, month, etc.) and participant-reported feelings of
depression. The symptoms of depression could be rated on a scale. The systematic
data would then be graphed on a scatterplot which would represent the values of
both variables, hours of exercise and levels of depression. The researcher
would then view the slope of these points that will determine if the
correlation is positive or negative and the amount of scatter that suggest the
strength of the correlation between both variables.


3). Research:

If I could conduct an experiment to show that exercise causes
depression to change I would first assign two separate groups of depressed patients
into different therapy groups. One group, the experimental group, will receive therapy
sessions that implemented an hour of exercise for 4 days a week over a 12-week
period. The control group will just take therapy sessions that did not
encourage or mention exercise for a 12-week period. The participants in each
group will have been randomly selected from a group of people (to control any
confounding variables) that have been diagnosed with depression and all
participants would have given me informed consent. The independent variable in
this experiment would be the exercise that was included in the experimental
group and the dependent variable would be the diagnosed depression which would
be measured after the therapy sessions on a scale independently assessed by a therapist
from 0 (no symptoms or signs of depression) to 10 (severe or clinical




4). Causality is when variables or the effect of a variable
influences other variables, instead of correlation which just describes
naturally occurring relationship between variables. The way scientist explore cause
and effect is controlled experiments. The experimental Method isolates the effects
of factors by either manipulating a variable called the independent variable and
holding other factors constant to pinpoint the effect of that specific
variable. In an experiment, the group that is typically testing the independent
variable is called the experimental group and the group that holds factors
constant is called the control group. By manipulating or testing the independent
variable through the Experimental method, we can determine causation.


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