Descriptive theories are the most common theories. They classify or describe characteristics or dimensions of an individual, group, situation, or event by summarizing similarities found in discrete observations. Descriptive theories mostly required when remarkably little about the phenomenon under discussion (Ellis and Yair, 2008).
Descriptive theory described into two categories, that is, classification and naming. A classification theory is elaborate in that it defines how the characteristics or dimensions of a given phenomenon interrelated structurally. Naming theories describe the characteristics or dimensions of some phenomenon. The dimensions may be exclusive, overlapping, mutually exclusive or sequential. A classification theory can be mostly referred to as taxonomies or typologies.
A descriptive theory is tested and generated by descriptive research. This research usually referred to as explanatory research. Explanatory research specifically directed towards knowing the existing characteristics of the real world relative to the question being researching upon.
A descriptive may or may not use an empirical method. Non empirical methods include historic and philosophic inquiries. Philosophic inquiries classify and describe phenomena through critical discussion. Moreover, historical research directed towards the description of phenomena that occurred at an earlier time (Harlow, 2011).
A descriptive study employing the empirical method involves observation of a phenomenon in its natural setting. ...