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A Closer Look at Descriptive Correlational Method of Research

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Research work always starts with observations of the things around us. Observations are usually done with the use of five senses. In educational research, the activities of the individuals are being observed in order to record the significant events that happened for the entire duration of the study being conducted. From then, analysis of the data gathered sets the direction in coming up with general statement that reflects and or affects the behavior, performance, perception, or action of the individuals. This serves as the basis in the conduct of the study to determine the influence, impact, outcome, or result of one variable with another.

Describing a phenomena, situation, condition, or event is the common research method being used by the researchers in conducting their studies. It focuses more on the 'what' of the research subject. There are various approaches, strategies, and techniques being used in descriptive method of research. These include case studies, surveys, naturalistic observations, and correlations. Researchers who are conducting various studies can employ the following approaches, strategies, and techniques in order for them to come up with accurate and reliable results. Thus, it is proper to take a closer look at this method of research with emphasis on the descriptive-correlational.

A case study is defined as a process of research in which detailed and specific considerations are given to the development of a particular person, group, or situation over a period of time. Usually, the study being conducted is confined with one setting, having limited number of participants, and with commonalities with one another. The data to be gathered are expected to have the same answers or responses that have connection with one another. Further, the important information about the research problem may be recorded on time, but the process of coming-up with these data takes time to do so. If this method will be employed with a large group of people, the researcher might experience difficulty in establishing the commonalities of the respondents of the study.

A survey method is defined as a technique of gathering data by asking questions to the people who are known to have knowledge or information about the given topic. Through this, varied answers or responses can be collated. Most researchers provide questionnaire or checklist to the respondents in order for them to easily gather and record their responses. On the other hand, it has its flaws. The problem lies when the people who respond the questionnaire or checklist may not be the actual representation of the desired target respondents of the study, or those who are identified as the respondents of the study may be hesitant to answer the questionnaire or checklist. So, researchers must be aware of these possible things that might happen in order for them to avoid encountering these problems during the process of gathering the data.

A naturalistic observation is a method commonly used by psychologists and other social scientist. It involves observing the respondents in their natural environment. The everyday behaviors and interests of the respondents are being recorded and documented in order for the researchers to come-up with realistic and accurate findings or results. Most findings of this method are dependent to the environmental factors of the respondents. For example, a boy is being observed with his attitudes while he is at home and in school. Usually, findings revealed that the attitudes of a boy at home environment were really different from his attitudes at school environment. What causes this result is dependent to the experiences of a boy at home and at school.

A correlation is defined as a process of measuring two variables - understanding and assessing the statistical relationship between them with no influence from any extraneous variable. Usually, it aims to establish a link or influence of one variable from another variable. Usually, findings of this method will always end up with these two premises: having significant correlation or having not significant correlation. If the computed value is lower than the critical value, it is always not significant; but, if the computed value is higher than the critical value, it is always significant.

Researchers must have critical minds in the selection of appropriate methods to be used in conducting a study in order for them to come up with valid and reliable results that will be very helpful in the analysis and interpretation of the data gathered from the respondents.