*Descriptive research or statistical research* provides data about the *population or universe* being studied. But it can only describe the "who, what, when, where and how" of a situation, not what caused it. Therefore, descriptive research is used when the objective is to provide a systematic description that is as factual and accurate as possible. It provides the number of times something occurs, or *frequency*, lends itself to statistical calculations such as determining the **average** number of occurences or central tendencies.

One of its major limitations is that it cannot help determine what causes a specific behaviour, motivation or occurrence. In other words, it cannot establish a *causal research* relationship between *variables*.

The two most commonly types of descriptive research designs are

- Observation and
- Surveys