Difference between Descriptive and Exploratory Research

The research design is characterized as a system for doing research in various fields of study. It is ordered into two vital classes’ i.e. conclusive and exploratory research. Conclusive research is subdivided into casual and descriptive research. The individuals frequently compare descriptive and exploratory research; however the truth of the matter is that they are distinctive. Descriptive research goes for portraying something, for the most part characteristics and functions. Exploratory research on the other hand, is which goes for giving bits of knowledge into and comprehension of the issue confronted by the analyst.

Descriptive Research

As the name suggests, a descriptive research is graphic in nature and assembles statistics that is used in study to find out the conclusions. In reality, descriptive research frequently prompts plan of theory as gathering and examination of information produces conclusions that shape the premise of another research. Thus, if there is an exploration about the utilization of liquor among young people, it regularly starts with gathering of information that is distinct in nature and tells individuals the age and drinking propensities for understudies. This research is useful for calculations and to land at statistical tools, for example, averages, medians and frequencies.

Exploratory Research

Exploratory research is difficult as in it handles dubiously characterized theory and make an effort to discover answers of questions. This sort of research is public in nature and needs some preparatory work toward the research. Indeed, Earl Babbie, the socialist, regards exploratory as the motivation behind the examination saying this sort of examination turns out to be valuable when the theory has yet not been framed or created. There are sure fundamental premises that should be tried toward the start of an exploratory research. With the assistance of these hypotheses, the researcher would like to find answers.

Descriptive Research VS Exploratory Research

  • Meaning:

Descriptive research is an exploration that investigates and clarifies an individual, a situation or group.

Exploratory research implies an exploration led for planning an issue for all the more clear investigation.

  • Intention:

The main objective of descriptive research is to define the functions and characteristics.

The main objective of exploratory research is to find out the thoughts and ideas.

  • Design:

The overall design of descriptive research is usually rigid.

The overall design of exploratory research is flexible.

  • Process:

In descriptive research, the process is mostly structured.

In exploratory research, the process is mostly unstructured.

  • Plan:

In descriptive research, analysis usually done on pre-planned method.

In exploratory research, pre-planned design is not available for analysis.

  • Sampling:

In descriptive research, probability sampling is used.

In exploratory research, non-probability sampling is used.


From the above article we come to know that descriptive research investigates the situation while exploratory research leads to formulation of a problem. The main objective of descriptive research is to define the functions and characteristics whereas objective of exploratory research is to find out ideas. In descriptive research, design is rigid and pre planned while in exploratory research, design is flexible and not pre planned. The process in descriptive research is mostly structured whereas it is unstructured in exploratory research. Probability sampling is used for descriptive research while non-probability research is used for exploratory research.