THE ORIGINAL QUESTION: Review the differences in descriptive,...


Review the differences in descriptive, explanatory, predictive, and prescriptive studies and select one of the predictive or prescriptive articles that you find. What are the independent variables (IV), dependent variables (DV), and mediating variables (MVs) that you find in the article? How do determining IVs, DVs, and MVs help you discern the theory tested in the research? In your particular article, what risk factors are identified, or what recommendations are provided?


Exploratory research enquiry, as its name suggests, aims to explore. It is used, for example, to identify a problem, clarify the nature of it and define the scope of it, to look for insights, develop propositions and hypotheses for further research, to reach a greater understanding of an issue. It contributes to the development of a research design and should be thought of as a first stage in the research design process.

Descriptive research is about finding the answers to the Who? What? Where? When? How? and How many? questions. In descriptive research, in comparison to exploratory research, you have a clearer idea of what is needed and are looking for answers to more clearly defined questions. Descriptive studies might tell you, for example, the size of a market, the structure of the market, developments over time, and attitudes of particular groups of people and so on.

Explanatory research focuses on why questions. For example, it is one thing to describe the crime rate in a country, to examine trends over time or to compare the rates in different countries. It is quite a different thing to develop explanations about why the crime rate is as high as it is, why some types of crime are increasing or why the rate is higher in some countries than in others.

Beauvais et al have conducted a descriptive correlational research study to find out the relationship between emotional intelligence, resilience and academic success. The research is aimed at finding what factors can lead to increased academic success for the nursing students. Emotional intelligence and resilience are the independent variables or the IVs while academic success is the dependent variable in the current study. Psychological well-being is the mediating variable. Knowing the three variables makes it easier to discern the theory being tested. It helps us know what is being tested and how the various factors are interrelated. It also makes it easier to understand why the relationship is significant as well as the outcomes. The article recommends that nursing institutions should focus on factors like emotional intelligence and resilience in students for academic success. While attrition rates remain high in nursing these factors may hold the key and need to be attended to.


Expand further on what does success mean for your DV and with mediating variables-be more specific on psychological well being-mediating reflects some influences that may be beyond control of the participant-heavy course load, personal stress, mental health issues etc. Does this make sense? So therefore did article comment on any of these uncontrollable influences?

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