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August 22, 2017

Descriptive and analytic non-experimental studies

Descriptive and analytic non-experimental studies

Two subtypes of non-experimental studies exist:

  1. descriptive studies and
  2. analytic studies.

Descriptive studies

Descriptive (or exploratory) studies do not try to explain a theory; for example, they just describe frequencies of the phenomenon (payment fraud).

Examples of descriptive studies are the Nilson Report, which publishes news and statistics about the card and mobile payment industry and the Observatory for Payment Card Security (OSCP) of the Banque de France.

Analytic studies

In contrast, analytic studies attempt to test hypotheses and provide explanations about the phenomenon.

Examples of analytic studies are those in which relationships between the exposure, e.g., fraud, and the outcomes, e.g., the payment method, such as Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal, are searched for.


  1. A. Aschengrau and G.R. Seage. Essentials of Epidemiology in
    Public Health. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2014.
  2. By Yin may tun (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]