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Descriptive (from the Latin describere , to describe, to paraphrase) denotes a descriptive or depicting point of view that claims to be a value-free consideration. The aim is a factual representation. In scientific work, a distinction is made between normative and descriptive considerations in order to develop intersubjectively comprehensible bases, for example in the consideration of political systems .

Examples of description include: a. empirical surveys that serve to make statements about the current state of society (number of unemployed), but also analyzes of human behavior in the context of sociology , psychology or philosophy . Normative statements, on the other hand, would be those that describe a target state, such as minimum wages or people's “ideals of behavior”.

The opposite term is the prescription . In scientific papers, descriptive and prescriptive statements should be carefully distinguished from one another.

See also


  • Peter Klotz: Describe. Basics of a descriptology . Erich Schmidt Verlag, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-503-137558 (argues for putting the description on an equal footing with the two prominent forms of expression of narration and argument, p. 9)

Web links

Wiktionary: Deskription  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Stickel-Wolf Christine, Wolf Joachim: Scientific work and learning techniques; Wiesbaden, 2011; P. 218