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    Descriptive, Explanatory, Predictive, Prescriptive Studies

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    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?

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    A descriptive study seeks to build upon previous work, providing greater insight and more detail into our knowledge base. For example, a researcher might seek to investigate whether an earlier study suggesting drug X intake correlates with incidences of osteoporosis might have increased the incidences of hip fractures in patients that take drug X chronically.

    Many times, explanatory studies begin to exam the "why" aspects to a phenomenon. For example, a descriptive study could build upon the identified correlation that drug X intake and incidences of hip fractures seem to be positively related. It might seek to examine the mechanisms by which drug X might influence factors leading to hip fractures, and perhaps even find that drug X weakens bone on a microscopic scale, leading to a higher risk of ...

    Solution Summary

    A brief summary, with examples, of the differences between descriptive, explanatory, predictive and prescriptive studies, as well as independent, dependent and mediating variables.