Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology / Edition 3

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Overview

Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology 3e is about how to do research and investigate various types of research questions that arise in criminology and criminal justice. A complete discussion of research ethics–including ethical issues relating to the Nuremberg Code, research sponsorship, rights of human subjects and deception — helps readers understand their ethical responsibilities as researchers. This book explores the entire criminal justices and criminology research process from beginning to end including: sampling procedures; data collection techniques; measurement, validity and reliability issues; the role of ethics in the research process; and writing and documenting research papers. Presents a practical guide for conducting research in criminal justice and criminology careers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131189287
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 3/11/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 656
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology (3/e) is about how to do research and investigate various types of research questions that arise in criminology and criminal justice. Why do police officers sometimes use excessive force when subduing criminal suspects who seemingly offer no resistance to arrest? Why do youths join gangs and commit violent acts? Why do some persons become career criminals? Which types of supervision work best for those on parole? What interventions seem to work best in preventing delinquency? Why do nonwhites seem to receive harsher sentences from judges compared with whites in many jurisdictions? Does the death penalty deter persons from committing murder? Why do public defenders appear less effective in defending their clients against criminal charges in court compared with privately appointed counsel? These are just some of the endless kinds of questions criminologists and criminal justice professionals examine when they conduct research.

In the social sciences, there is a broad range of research strategies, including a variety of data collection techniques and other analytical tools that exist to serve the needs of most professionals who conduct different kinds of research investigations. While certain research procedures may be relevant for one type of investigation, these same procedures may not be equally suitable for other investigations. There are many research strategies that investigators may choose to collect information to answer any issues they may choose to investigate.

This book explores the entire research process from beginning to end. This exploration begins with an examination of theorizing aboutdifferent kinds of research questions and why different kinds of events occur. Generally theories are designed to offer explanations for why certain events occur and make predictions about them. There are different kinds of theory that can be used by investigators who want to explain why certain events happen- Because different kinds of theory exist, researchers have choices they can make in deciding which theories are best for assisting them in answering particular research questions. This book examines different types of theory and explains the weaknesses and strengths of these theories for particular research questions.

When a particular research question is raised, criminologists don't always agree on which answers to these questions seem most plausible. Every social scientist has a point of view or a frame of reference for viewing different kinds of issues or research questions. These frames of reference almost always influence one's approach taken in attempting to explain crime, delinquency, and other related events. Also, the way a problem or question is examined will suggest a particular theoretical approach. Thus, the relation between frames of reference and theories will be examined.

Most criminological investigations involve studying people under different types of circumstances: police officers. judges, inmates of prisons or jails, correctional officers, juveniles, defense counsels and prosecutors, probationers or parolees, probation officers or parole officers, community corrections personnel, including volunteers and paraprofessionals, jury members, those on pretrial diversion, and others. It is beyond the resources of most investigators to study all persons about which information is sought. Therefore, only some of these persons are selected for investigation. This is called sampling. There are many types of sampling, and again, researchers have choices about which types of sampling methods they will use in any given set of circumstances. This book examines sampling procedures in great detail, including a broad discussion of sampling issues.

Also, these are many ways information about research questions can be gathered. Information may be gathered by examining public documents in a library. Or persons may be interviewed or observed. Others may be given questionnaires, distributed to them personally or by mail. The fact is that there are numerous ways of collecting data. Most data collection techniques available to criminologists will be thoroughly examined, including their weaknesses and strengths for particular types of applications.

As criminal justicians and criminologists study different phenomena, it is inevitable that they must devise measures for whatever they study. Attitudes are most frequently investigated, since they are invariably linked with the behaviors criminologists are trying to explain. Therefore, an in-depth examination of measurement is provided. Measurement often results in the development of scales, often attitudinal scales that yield approximations of how strongly persons possess views toward one or more important issues. Always raised in the process of measurement are whether the scales devised to measuring different phenomena arc valid and reliable. Validity refers to the accuracy of scales we create, and whether these scales measure the phenomenon we intend to measure. Reliability refers to the consistency of scales we create to yield consistent degrees of certain phenomena over time. Measurement, and its accompanying properties of validity and reliability, is extensively examined. Various issues related to measurement, validity, and reliability will be raised and analyzed.

Once information about a particular research question has been collected, it must be analyzed and interpreted to assess its significance and viability as a useful explanation. Several examples of data presentation, analysis, and interpretation are provided in order to illustrate what investigators do with their collected information. The ultimate aim of most researchers is to advance our knowledge about whatever it is we choose to study. This is consistent with the various goals of scientific inquiry which are followed closely by criminal justice and criminology.

Researchers find it difficult, if not impossible, to separate their personal beliefs and attitudes about things froze whatever it is they choose to study- Also, the frames of reference and theories chosen are often reflective of a researchers' opinions and views formed by their social and personal experiences. Because one's values play an important part in the research process, and because different types of persons are studied under a wide variety of circumstances oz conditions, it is important to raise and examine the matter of ethics in social research. Thus, several critical ethical issues in criminological research are given extensive coverage. Examples are provided of unethical research practices as well as some research which is questionably ethical. Several standards for evaluating appropriate ethical approaches in criminology and criminal justice have evolved over the years, largely through the efforts of professional organizations such as the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Sociological Association, and the American Psychology Association. These and other organizations have established ethical codes of conduct for their membership, and they suggest proper ways for one's research to be conducted.

In order to assist students in their own investigations and attempts to answer different kinds of research questions, one section of this book is devoted to helping students write research papers. This involves suggestions on how and where to gather information about the topics they are investigating, how to organize the information they collect, and how such information may be concisely expressed in a paper they are preparing for a class or other presentation. Level of Book

This text has been written with the beginning student in mind. Therefore, much of the technical language and symbolic notation used to describe methodological strategies has been simplified. At the same time, consideration has been given to those who, may wish to use this book as a reference or guide in their future research work. Thus, several topics have been included that are often given extended coverage in more advanced texts. A useful feature that enhances student comprehension of more difficult material is the extensive use of examples drawn from the criminological and criminal justice literature. Students should find this book user-friendly and relate easily to new concepts and principles that are introduced in the context of criminological language and examples. Organization

The book has been organized as follows. Chapter 1 explains what is meant by doing research and why it is conducted. This explanation discusses some of the lands of research topics undertaken by professionals in criminology and criminal justice. An integral part of any research activity is the creation of a theoretical scheme or explanatory framework that accounts for relationships between things. The role of theory in the research process is described and discussed. Several different types of theory are presented and explained. Since the research enterprise is a process, this process consists of several important parts. Each part will be given appropriate attention. In a sense, the research enterprise is like a chain with many links. In that respect, since a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, the research enterprise is no better than the weakest part or stage of that enterprise. And all stages or parts of this process are very important for affecting the quality of the final research product. An overview of these stages is provided.

Almost all research conducted by criminologists and criminal justicians is closely related to scientific inquiry. Science is a method of knowing, and criminal justice and criminology and deeply rooted in scientific principles. Science demands objectivity and systematization. Furthermore, science makes certain critical assumptions about the data we study. Several of these important assumptions will be discussed. Researchers usually establish plans for carrying out their scientific investigations. These investigations or plans often begin with a research proposal, including particular objectives or goals sought by the researcher. Several important functions of research are identified and described. These functions include, exploration, description, experimentation, and decision making. Theory and research are closely intertwined. This complementarity will be examined. The chapter concludes with an examination of the value of theory and research.

Chapter 2 examines frames of reference and problem formulation. When investigators begin their research, they usually start with an idea about what they want to study and how they want to study it. Those who study juvenile delinquency, for instance, will approach this topic using one of several alternative explanations—perhaps the idea that delinquency is largely the result of family instability, or that delinquency is largely the result of the significant influence of one's delinquent peers, or that delinquency is largely the result of cultural deprivation. These are ways of looking at and accounting for any phenomenon we wish to study. These ways of looking at criminological phenomena are also frames of reference or simply our particular ways of viewing problems we wish to explain.

Closely associated with frames of reference are variables used by investigators to explain different phenomena. Variables are any quantity that can assume more than one value. Gender, race, age, year in school, political affiliation, socioeconomic status, and rural. or urban background are just a few of the many variables that can be used by researchers in developing their theoretical schemes and planning their research. Depending upon the nature of the research conducted, each variable operates in unique ways in relation to other variables. Some variables influence other variables to change in value, while other variables are influenced to change. Different uses of variables will be examined. Variables may also be distinguished according to whether they are discrete or continuous. Discrete variables have a limited number of subdivisions. For most purposes, gender is a discrete variable, because it only has two subclasses: male and female. The same is true about political affiliation. However, other variables, such as prejudice, job satisfaction, burnout, and professionalism, may have an infinite number of subclasses. In these instances, such variables are labeled as continuous, since they may be divided and graded into infinite subdivisions. But for all practical purposes, criminologists and other social scientists reduce all variables examined to a series of discrete subclasses, regardless of the particular variable's discrete or continuous qualities. Thus, different types of variables and their functions will be presented and explained, and their relation to frames of reference and problem formulation will be examined. The chapter concludes with a discussion of causal relations between variables. Most social scientists seek to identify what factors cause certain variables to change in value. What variables cause some juveniles to become delinquent? What variables cause police misconduct. improvements in professionalism, or labor turnover among correctional officers? Causation is difficult to establish. Causal relations between variables will be explored in some detail.

Chapter 3 discusses different types of research designs as well as the various kinds of objectives sought by investigators. Research designs refer to different ways of structuring one's research so as to achieve particular outcomes. Two useful categories of research designs are case studies and surveys. Some important advantages and disadvantages of case studies and surveys will be presented. All research designs are influenced by our research goals or objectives. These goals are usually exploratory, descriptive, or experimental. The most complicated types of research designs are experimental, and there are several different kinds of experimental designs that will be presented, discussed, and compared.

Experimental research designs often involve two or more groups of persons and comparisons between them on different variables. Whenever two or more groups of persons are compared for whatever reason, it is important to establish their equivalence to justify any subsequent differences they may exhibit. Several important methods for establishing equivalence between two or more groups will be presented and discussed. These include individual matching, persons used as their own controls in before-after experiments, group or frequency distribution control matching, and random assignment. Other experimental designs will be examined, including classical experimental design, quasi-experimental designs, time-series designs, and cost-benefit analyses.

Chapter 4 is a detailed examination of the sampling process. When populations of persons axe investigated, it is extraordinary that all persons in these populations are studied. Most researchers investigate only a portion or sample of persons taken from the entire population, of them. A discussion of the decision to sample will be provided. There are several types of sampling plans, therefore, including probability and nonprobability sampling plans. These will be distinguished. Several important criteria for identifying probability sampling plans, including randomness, will be described. The functions of sampling will also be presented.

The next part of Chapter 4 examines various probability and nonprobability sampling plans in some detail, featuring examples as well as the advantages, disadvantages, and applications of these plans for criminological research. Different sampling scenarios are also distinguished, such as when single samples of persons are studied, or whether two or more samples of persons are investigated. The independence or relatedness of different samples will also be discussed. The chapter concludes with a discussion of several important sampling considerations and issues.

Chapter 5 is the first of three chapters that examine different ways that information about people can be gathered. Each research plan includes provisions for collecting data or information about the problem studied. The substance of Chapter 5 is questionnaire construction and administration. Much of the tame, information about people is gathered by criminologist' through the administration of questionnaires. Questionnaires contain much information that may be quantified and used to verify one's theories and frames of reference. Questionnaires always contain information useful in the conceptualization of variables used to explain different social phenomena.

But not all questionnaires are alike. Different questionnaire formats are described, as well as their weaknesses and strengths for particular research applications. Questionnaires may be administered under a variety of different conditions- Questionnaires can be mailed, administered to persons face-to-face, or given to persons in groups. Questionnaires also vary in. their construction. Some questionnaires are simple and short, while others are long and complex. Some items in questionnaires have fixed-response answers, while other items have an open-ended format. These different formats are described, and their weaknesses and strengths for different groups of persons are discussed. Several important issues about the use questionnaires will be examined. Some of these issues include nonresponse and what to do about it. Not everyone returns their questionnaire. Not everyone receives questionnaires mailed to them. When persons do receive and complete questionnaires, we have no way of knowing whether they gave truthful or false information. Sometimes persons lie about how they feel, and this deception influences the credibility of questionnaire information. All of these issues and others will be examined in some detail.

Chapter 6 examines interviewing as a data-gathering technique. Like questionnaires, interviews may be administered different ways. Interviews may be conducted face-to-face, or they may be conducted over the telephone with different persons who are investigative targets. Usually interviews are more or less structured like questionnaires, in that previously prepared questions or items are formulated and particular lands of information are solicited from selected persons. Interviewing is believed by some social scientists to be a skill that is learned over time and with experience. This chapter examines the qualities of interviewers, and some of the weaknesses and strengths of interviewing will be examined. Comparisons of interview information with information yielded from questionnaires will be made and evaluated. The chapter concludes with an examination of several important issues associated with the interviewing process.

Chapter 7 discusses observation as a data-gathering technique. Observation is defined, and different types of observation are described. Persons who observe others for the purpose of gathering information about them may be participants or nonparticipants. This means that they may or may not be members of the groups about which they seek information. Also, if persons know they are being observed, they may behave differently so that their true feelings or attitudes cannot be interpreted correctly. Therefore, the impact of the observer on the observed will be discussed. Br the same token, behaviors of persons being observed can influence the behaviors and attitudes of those who observe. Both of these potentially problematic situations will be discussed.

This chapter also examines the use of secondary sources, such as public records, as a means of gathering information. Archival reports, examinations of biographies, autobiographies, organizational documents, and court records arc considered secondary sources. Because most secondary source information was collected for purposes different from those of the researcher, some of the weaknesses and strengths of using secondary sources will be described. Secondary sources may also be examined for their content. Content analyses of secondary sources will be described. Some government and private agencies have compiled data bases and records for general research applications. These data may be easily accessed and analyzed, although there are certain considerations which should be made for analyzing these data sets. Finally, some studies seek to examine numerous investigations of a single topic as an aggregate through meta-analysis. Meta-analysis will be described and explained.

Chapters 8 and 9 focus upon the measurement of social and psychological variables in criminological research. Because much criminological research involves contacting others and soliciting information concerning their ideas and attitudes about things, attention is also given to the measures we use to quantify the information collected. In Chapter 8, the measurement of variables is closely examined as well as some general functions of measurement for social research. Attention is directed toward variables and how they are conceptualized numerically. Variables may be measured according to different levels of measurement, including the nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio levels. Several popular scaling procedures, including Likert and Thurstone scaling, are examined and described in detail. These types of scales are geared toward attitude measurement. Their weaknesses, strengths, and general research applications are presented. Other types of scales arc also presented, including the semantic differential. Guttman scaling, the Salient Factor Score Index, and Greenwood's Rand Seven-Factor Index. Several issues relating to measurement are presented to conclude this chapter.

Chapter 9 examines whether the scales we devise actually measure what they purport to measure end whether these scales have consistency in their application? Do our measures of things have validity; that is, do these measures actually measure what we say they measure? Are these measures reliable? Can we depend upon them to give us consistent results over time? Validity and reliability are two critical scale properties and are given extensive treatment in this chapter. Several types of validity are described and explained. Accordingly, there are several types of reliability. These different types are also described. Because of the fact that we often measure attitudinal phenomena, there are numerous factors that may interfere with a scale's reliability and validity. These factors are presented and discussed in detail.

Chapter 10 is an examination of the coding process and the conversion of information we have obtained from questionnaires, interviews, and/or observation into numerical quantities for scientific purposes. Whatever we measure, whether it be crime rates or police professionalism, this information must be coded in some way. Coding is an integral feature of the scientific process and enables researchers to share their research with others in more meaningful ways. Also presented in this chapter are various methods for portraying or illustrating the information investigators have collected. Different types of graphs, charts, and/or tables are presented. Examples from current criminological literature are provided to show how data may be cross-tabulated and meaningfully interpreted. All of this data presentation is central to verifying the theories we have chosen to use and which guide our research enterprise. The decision malting process is discussed to illustrate the criteria we use to choose which forms of data presentation are best for our particular research.

Chapter 11 focuses upon hypothesis formulation. Hypotheses are statements, usually derived from theory and consisting of one or more variables, which can be empirically tested. These statements are often depictions of different parts of one's theory in testable form. Several types of hypotheses are described, including research, null, and statistical hypotheses. In each case, ample illustrations are provided to show how these hypotheses are constructed and tested. Some hypotheses are relatively simple and are easily tested, while others are more complex. Hypotheses may contain one or more variables, and thus our research must be fashioned in ways that make it possible to conduct scientific tests of these hypotheses to verify the particular theory we use. Hypothesis testing is not a cut-and-dried process. Some investigators consider hypothesis testing to be an art form. Several important considerations must be made whenever interpreting the results of hypothesis tests. These considerations have to do with our theory, the sampling procedure we have used, the measures we have used, the data-collection methods we have employed, and the validity and reliability of our measures.

Chapter 12 examines several critical ethical issues that arise whenever social research is conducted. Virtually every professional organization, including the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, has established codes of ethics to guide their respective memberships in conducting ethical research. Invariably different ethical problems will arise and over which investigators may have little or no control. Some of these ethical problems will be described and discussed. Several ethical issues will be presented, as well as several solutions and proposals for minimizing unethical practices in social research.

Finally, an appendix has been provided to assist students in their individual research projects and assignments. Appendix A paper writing and offers considerable assistance in where to look for various types of information. Suggestions are given for different types of paper formats, including master's thesis and doctoral dissertation organization and preparation. A useful feature is a discussion of legal references and citation methods for those who seek information from legal publications. Using This Book Most Effectively

Perhaps the best way to approach the material in this book is as a collection of strategies for problem-solving. Each strategy that might be employed in the investigation of particular criminal justice-related or criminological problems has weaknesses and strengths, limitations and benefits. These features must be weighed carefully as they are considered for application in problem-solutions. The problems are research questions, questions about criminological and criminal justice-related phenomena about which we seek information and answers.

Because the research process is multidimensional and involves numerous phases or stages, each exhibiting technical and sometimes complicated procedures, it might be helpful to regard this collection of strategies from the standpoint of building blocks. Thinking of a pyramid, base blocks form the foundation, and blocks on higher levels can only be supported by the foundation we have provided. Thus, our knowledge of research methods proceeds accordingly, as we master knowledge of basics and proceed to more technical strategies in later chapters- And, like the pyramid which, once in place, is a beautiful, complete assemblage of blocks, the research process unfolds similarly to yield a distinctive whole that can best be appreciated when viewed as an interconnected constellation of numerous components.

The general intention is to improve our understanding of the events that occur around us. Perhaps our investigations will lead to certain practical policy decisions. However, our investigations may be unrelated to public policy or to anything of practical value other than a simple understanding and appreciation for why certain events occur. My position is that we should seek a healthy balance between our practical, substantive concerns and our theoretical ones. While some research may have direct relevance for a particular intervention program to be used for parolees in halfway houses to assist in their community reintegration, other research may not be adapted easily to any helping program. This state of affairs is perhaps as it should be, especially in view of the great diversity of interests among criminologists and criminal justice professionals, the problems they select for study, and the ways they choose to investigate these problems. Special Features and Ancillaries

The book has several special features. These are as follows:

  • All technical expressions involved in sampling, scaling, and attitudinal measurement have been simplified, with careful, step-by-step instructions about how to complete one's calculations.
  • All methodological procedures are fully explained and their interpretation is simplified with examples from the criminological literature.
  • Current illustrations have been extracted from the literature of criminology and criminal justice. Topics for illustrations were deliberately chosen because of their variety and because of their topical importance in view of their frequency of treatment in the professional literature. All methodological procedures covered in this book were found among these articles, and the ideas from these articles were the basis for most examples provided.
  • Questions are provided at chapter ends for review, together with a list of key terms. All of the terms listed under key terms are also included with definitions in a comprehensive glossary in an appendix.
  • An appendix describes how to write papers and scientific essays. Students will learn how to structure their term paper projects, and master's and doctoral students will glean an idea of how to construct theses and dissertations, which involve a variety of research questions.
  • Instructional aides include an instructor's manual and a computerized test bank of 1,000 questions and are available for examination preparation. Versions of the computerized test bank are available on computer diskette and hard copy.
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Table of Contents

(NOTE: Most chapters begin with Chapter Outline, Chapter Objectives, and Introduction sections and conclude with a Summary and Questions for Review section.)

1. The Research Enterprise In Criminal Justice and Criminology: Theory and Research.

Overview of the Research Process and Statistical Analysis.

The Research Enterprise.

Steps to Conduct Research in Criminal Justice.

Problem Formulation.

Research Design.

Data Collection Methods.

Analysis Data.

Presentation of Findings.

Conclusions.

Pure and Applied Research.

Some Basic Assumptions About Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Why Do Research?

The Emergence of Science and Criminal Justice.

The Probability Nature of Science.

Objectivity in Scientific Research.

Functions of Research.

Exploratory Functions.

Descriptive Functions.

Experimental Functions.

Evaluation Research.

Theory Defined.

Assumptions, Propositions, and Definitions.

Explanation and Prediction.

Types of Theory.

Deductive Theory.

Inductive Theory.

Grounded Theory.

Axiomatic Theory.

Variables and Theory.

Independent Variables.

Dependent Variables.

Discrete Variables.

Continuous Variables.

The Complementarity of Theory and Research.

Hypotheses and Theory: A Preliminary View.

The Value of Theory.

Atheoretical Evaluations.

The Value of Research.

2. Frames of Reference and Problem Formulation.

What Are Frames of Reference?

Choosing a Frame of Reference.

Values and Frames of Reference.

Are Frames of Reference Used in All Social Research?

Frames of Reference and Theory.

Deciding What to Study: Topics of Investigation for Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Reviewing the Literature.

Sources for Literature Reviews.

"Hands-On" Research.

Investigations from a Distance.

The Uniform Crime Reports and the National Crime Victimization Survey.

Issues in Formulating Research Problems.

3. Research Designs.

Qualitative and Quantitative Research.

Qualitative Research.

Quantitative Research.

Research Objectives and Designs.

Exploration and Exploratory Objectives.

Description and Descriptive Objectives.

Experimentation and Experimental Objectives.

Some Conventional Research Designs.

Surveys.

Comparison of Surveys and Case Studies.

Classical Experimental Design.

Experimental and Control Groups.

Equivalent Groups and Establishing Equivalence.

Pretests and Posttests.

Variations in the Classical Experimental Design.

The After-Only Design.

The Before-After Design.

True Experiments and Quasi-Experiments.

Time-Series and Multiple Time-Series Designs.

Cost-Benefit Analyses.

Internal and External Validity.

Internal Validity and Threats.

External Validity and Threats.

4. Sampling Techniques, Purposes, And Problems.

What is Sampling?

Populations and Parameters.

Samples and Statistics.

Generalizability and Representativeness.

The Decision to Sample.

Size of the Target Population.

Cost of Obtaining the Elements.

Convenience and Accessibility of the Elements.

Some Functions of Sampling.

Economizing Resources.

Manageability.

Meeting Assumptions of Statistical Tests.

Meeting the Requirements of Experiments.

Probability Sampling Plans.

Randomness.

Simple Random Sampling and Random Numbers Tables.

Stratified Random Sampling.

Area, Cluster, or Multistage Sampling.

Nonprobability Sampling Plans.

Accidental Sampling.

Systematic Sampling.

Purposive or Judgmental Sampling.

Quota Sampling.

Snowball Sampling and the Use of Informants.

Dense and Saturation Sampling.

Types of Sampling Situations.

Single-Sample Situations.

Two- and k-Sample Situations.

Independent Samples.

Related Samples.

Some Selected Sampling Problems.

Determining Sample Size.

Nonresponse and What to Do About It/

Is the Sample Representative? Uncertainty about Representativeness.

Sampling and Statistical Analysis.

Ideal and Real Sampling Considerations.

Potentates: Juveniles, Prisoners, and Permission to Sample Special Populations of Subjects.

5. Questionnaires: Construction, Application, and Issues.

Questionnaires in Criminal Justice Research.

Functions of Questionnaires.

Description.

Measurement.

Types of Questionnaires.

Fixed-Response Questionnaires.

Open-Ended Questionnaires.

Combinations of Fixed-Response and Open-Ended Items.

Comparison of Fixed-Response and Open-Ended Items.

Questionnaire Administration.

Mailed Questionnaires.

Face-to-Face Questionnaire Administration.

Comparison of Mailed Questionnaires with Face-to-Face Questionnaire Administration.

Questionnaire Construction.

Selecting and Ordering the Questionnaire Items.

Response and Nouresponse: Some Considerations.

Questionnaire Length.

Questionnaire Content and Wording: Possible Sources of Bias.

Double-Barreled Questions.

The Use of Certain Key Words.

Anonymity.

Self-Reports.

How Do You Know that Respondents Tell the Truth? The Lie Factor.

Cultural Values and Questionnaire Wording.

Other Factors.

What about Nonresponse?

6. Interviewing: Types, Applications, and Issues.

Chapter Objectives.

Introduction.

Interviews as instruments in Criminal Justice Research.

Interviews Contrasted with Questionnaires.

Types of Interviews.

Unstructured Interviews.

Structured Interviews and the Focused Interview.

In-Depth Interviews.

Telephone Interviews.

Functions of Interviewing.

Description.

Exploration.

Interview Construction.

Conducting Interviews.

Gaining Access to Organizations.

Arranging the Interview.

Training and Orientation for Interviewers.

What Makes a Good Interviewer? Personality Factors.

Dressing Appropriately.

Probing.

Videotaping Interviews.

The Use of Lie Detectors and Polygraph Tests.

Interviewing May Be Dangerous.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Interviews in Criminal Justice Research.

7. Observation and the Use of Secondary Sources: Types, Applications, and Issues.

What is Observation?

Major Purposes of Observation.

Types of Observation.

Participant Observation.

Nonparticipant Observation and Unobtrusive Observation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Observation in Criminological Research.

Impact of the Observer on the Observed.

Impact of the Observed on the Observer.

Analysis of Secondary Sources.

The Major Features of Secondary Sources.

Types of Secondary Sources.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Secondary Sources.

Content Analysis.

Some Examples of Content Analysis.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Content Analysis.

Official and Criminal Justice Agency Records.

Canned Data Sets.

Meta-Analysis.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Meta-Analysis.

8. The Measurement of Variables in Criminal Justice and Criminology: Scaling, Applications, and Issues.

Measurement of Variables In Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Functions of Measurement.

Conceptualizations of Social and Psychological Phenomena.

Rendering Data Amenable to Statistical Treatment.

Assisting in Hypothesis Testing and Theory Verification.

Differentiating between People According to Properties They Possess.

Hypotheses: Operationalizing Variables.

Nominal and Operational Definitions.

Concepts.

Constructs.

Levels of Measurement.

Nominal Level of Measurement.

Ordinal Level of Measurement.

Interval Level of Measurement.

Ratio Level of Measurement.

Types of Scaling Procedures for Measuring Variables.

Likert-Type Scales.

Thurstone Scales and Equal-Appearing Intervals.

Other Types of Scaling Procedures.

Guttman Scaling.

The Semenatic Differential.

Q Sort.

The Sellin-Wolfgang Crime Severity Index.

The Salient Factor Score (SFS 81).

Greenwood's Rand Seven-Factor Index.

Some Issues of Measurement.

Attitude-Action Relation.

Social Desirability as a Contaminating Factor.

Response Sets and Validity.

The Level of Measurement-Statistical Choices Relation.

9. Validity and Reliability of Measures.

Validity Defined.

Types of Validity.

Content Validity.

Pragmatic Validity.

Construct Validity.

Reliability Defined.

Why Is It lmportant to Have Reliable Measures?

Types of Reliability.

Internal Reliability Checks.

External Reliability Checks.

Some Functional Relationships between Validity and Reliability.

Factors that Affect Validity and Reliability.

The Instrument and Its Contents.

Environmental Factors.

Personal Factors.

Researcher Interpretations.

Testing (Pre-Test) Effect.

Selection Bias.

Experimental Mortality.

Hawthorne Effect.

Halo Effect.

Placebo Effect.

Diffusion of Treatment with Control and Experimental Groups.

10. Data Coding, Presentation and Description.

Coding Variables.

Verification and Cleaning Data.

Simple Data Presentation.

Measurement of Crime and Crime Rates.

Crime Rates.

Ratios.

Graphic Presentation.

Functions of Graphic Presentation.

Types of Graphic Presentation.

Pie Charts.

Bar Graphs.

Tabular Presentation and Crosstabulation.

Tables and How to Read Them.

Other Forms of Tabular Presentation.

Deciding How Best to Present Your Information.

11. Hypotheses, Hypothesis Testing, and Theory Verification: Interpreting Information and Examining Issues.

Hypotheses and Theory.

Deriving Hypotheses from Theory.

Types of Hypotheses, Hypothesis Construction, and Hypothesis Sets.

Research Hypotheses.

Null. Hypotheses.

Statistical Hypotheses.

Where do Hypotheses Come From?

Hypothesis Formulation: Good, Better, and Best.

Functions of Hypotheses.

Single-Variable, Two-Variable, and K -Variable Hypotheses.

Single-Variable Hypotheses.

Two-Variable Hypotheses.

K-Variable Hypotheses.

Hypothesis Testing.

Interpreting the Results of Hypothesis Tests.

Theoretical Considerations.

Sampling Considerations.

Measurement Considerations.

Data Collection Procedures as a Consideration.

Statistical Considerations.

Participant Observation as a Consideration.

12. Ethical Issues In Research.

Ethics Defined.

Ethical Practices in Criminal Justice Organizations Distinguished from Ethical Dilemmas in Research.

Ethics and Social Responsibility.

Ethics and Criminological Research.

Types of Ethical Problems in Research.

Plagiarism.

Fraudulent Research and Statistical Manipulation.

Research Potentially Harmful to Human Subjects.

Deception: Lying to Respondents.

Accessing Confidential Records and Information.

Sex Offenders: Sexual Histories and Stimulus-Response Experiments.

Granting Permission to Study Subordinates, Potentates, and Juveniles.

The Nuremberg Code.

Professional Associations and the Development of Ethical Standards for Research.

University Guidelines for Research Projects: The Use of Human Subjects.

Ethical Issues.

Sponsored Research and Investigator Interests: Choice or Chance?

Rights of Human Subjects.

Informed Consent and How Personal Information Will Be Used.

APPENDIX A: WRITING PAPERS AND RESEARCH REPORTS.

Types of Papers and Research Reports.

Term Papers.

Reviews of the Literature.

Critical Essays and Position Papers.

Research Papers.

Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.

A Thesis/Dissertation Proposal Outline.

Sources for References.

Legal Research in Criminal Justice.

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions.

Lower Federal Court Opinions.

State Supreme Court Decisions.

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Preface

Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology (3/e) is about how to do research and investigate various types of research questions that arise in criminology and criminal justice. Why do police officers sometimes use excessive force when subduing criminal suspects who seemingly offer no resistance to arrest? Why do youths join gangs and commit violent acts? Why do some persons become career criminals? Which types of supervision work best for those on parole? What interventions seem to work best in preventing delinquency? Why do nonwhites seem to receive harsher sentences from judges compared with whites in many jurisdictions? Does the death penalty deter persons from committing murder? Why do public defenders appear less effective in defending their clients against criminal charges in court compared with privately appointed counsel? These are just some of the endless kinds of questions criminologists and criminal justice professionals examine when they conduct research.

In the social sciences, there is a broad range of research strategies, including a variety of data collection techniques and other analytical tools that exist to serve the needs of most professionals who conduct different kinds of research investigations. While certain research procedures may be relevant for one type of investigation, these same procedures may not be equally suitable for other investigations. There are many research strategies that investigators may choose to collect information to answer any issues they may choose to investigate.

This book explores the entire research process from beginning to end. This exploration begins with an examination of theorizing about different kinds of research questions and why different kinds of events occur. Generally theories are designed to offer explanations for why certain events occur and make predictions about them. There are different kinds of theory that can be used by investigators who want to explain why certain events happen- Because different kinds of theory exist, researchers have choices they can make in deciding which theories are best for assisting them in answering particular research questions. This book examines different types of theory and explains the weaknesses and strengths of these theories for particular research questions.

When a particular research question is raised, criminologists don't always agree on which answers to these questions seem most plausible. Every social scientist has a point of view or a frame of reference for viewing different kinds of issues or research questions. These frames of reference almost always influence one's approach taken in attempting to explain crime, delinquency, and other related events. Also, the way a problem or question is examined will suggest a particular theoretical approach. Thus, the relation between frames of reference and theories will be examined.

Most criminological investigations involve studying people under different types of circumstances: police officers. judges, inmates of prisons or jails, correctional officers, juveniles, defense counsels and prosecutors, probationers or parolees, probation officers or parole officers, community corrections personnel, including volunteers and paraprofessionals, jury members, those on pretrial diversion, and others. It is beyond the resources of most investigators to study all persons about which information is sought. Therefore, only some of these persons are selected for investigation. This is called sampling. There are many types of sampling, and again, researchers have choices about which types of sampling methods they will use in any given set of circumstances. This book examines sampling procedures in great detail, including a broad discussion of sampling issues.

Also, these are many ways information about research questions can be gathered. Information may be gathered by examining public documents in a library. Or persons may be interviewed or observed. Others may be given questionnaires, distributed to them personally or by mail. The fact is that there are numerous ways of collecting data. Most data collection techniques available to criminologists will be thoroughly examined, including their weaknesses and strengths for particular types of applications.

As criminal justicians and criminologists study different phenomena, it is inevitable that they must devise measures for whatever they study. Attitudes are most frequently investigated, since they are invariably linked with the behaviors criminologists are trying to explain. Therefore, an in-depth examination of measurement is provided. Measurement often results in the development of scales, often attitudinal scales that yield approximations of how strongly persons possess views toward one or more important issues. Always raised in the process of measurement are whether the scales devised to measuring different phenomena arc valid and reliable. Validity refers to the accuracy of scales we create, and whether these scales measure the phenomenon we intend to measure. Reliability refers to the consistency of scales we create to yield consistent degrees of certain phenomena over time. Measurement, and its accompanying properties of validity and reliability, is extensively examined. Various issues related to measurement, validity, and reliability will be raised and analyzed.

Once information about a particular research question has been collected, it must be analyzed and interpreted to assess its significance and viability as a useful explanation. Several examples of data presentation, analysis, and interpretation are provided in order to illustrate what investigators do with their collected information. The ultimate aim of most researchers is to advance our knowledge about whatever it is we choose to study. This is consistent with the various goals of scientific inquiry which are followed closely by criminal justice and criminology.

Researchers find it difficult, if not impossible, to separate their personal beliefs and attitudes about things froze whatever it is they choose to study- Also, the frames of reference and theories chosen are often reflective of a researchers' opinions and views formed by their social and personal experiences. Because one's values play an important part in the research process, and because different types of persons are studied under a wide variety of circumstances oz conditions, it is important to raise and examine the matter of ethics in social research. Thus, several critical ethical issues in criminological research are given extensive coverage. Examples are provided of unethical research practices as well as some research which is questionably ethical. Several standards for evaluating appropriate ethical approaches in criminology and criminal justice have evolved over the years, largely through the efforts of professional organizations such as the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Sociological Association, and the American Psychology Association. These and other organizations have established ethical codes of conduct for their membership, and they suggest proper ways for one's research to be conducted.

In order to assist students in their own investigations and attempts to answer different kinds of research questions, one section of this book is devoted to helping students write research papers. This involves suggestions on how and where to gather information about the topics they are investigating, how to organize the information they collect, and how such information may be concisely expressed in a paper they are preparing for a class or other presentation.

Level of Book

This text has been written with the beginning student in mind. Therefore, much of the technical language and symbolic notation used to describe methodological strategies has been simplified. At the same time, consideration has been given to those who, may wish to use this book as a reference or guide in their future research work. Thus, several topics have been included that are often given extended coverage in more advanced texts. A useful feature that enhances student comprehension of more difficult material is the extensive use of examples drawn from the criminological and criminal justice literature. Students should find this book user-friendly and relate easily to new concepts and principles that are introduced in the context of criminological language and examples.

Organization

The book has been organized as follows. Chapter 1 explains what is meant by doing research and why it is conducted. This explanation discusses some of the lands of research topics undertaken by professionals in criminology and criminal justice. An integral part of any research activity is the creation of a theoretical scheme or explanatory framework that accounts for relationships between things. The role of theory in the research process is described and discussed. Several different types of theory are presented and explained. Since the research enterprise is a process, this process consists of several important parts. Each part will be given appropriate attention. In a sense, the research enterprise is like a chain with many links. In that respect, since a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, the research enterprise is no better than the weakest part or stage of that enterprise. And all stages or parts of this process are very important for affecting the quality of the final research product. An overview of these stages is provided.

Almost all research conducted by criminologists and criminal justicians is closely related to scientific inquiry. Science is a method of knowing, and criminal justice and criminology and deeply rooted in scientific principles. Science demands objectivity and systematization. Furthermore, science makes certain critical assumptions about the data we study. Several of these important assumptions will be discussed. Researchers usually establish plans for carrying out their scientific investigations. These investigations or plans often begin with a research proposal, including particular objectives or goals sought by the researcher. Several important functions of research are identified and described. These functions include, exploration, description, experimentation, and decision making. Theory and research are closely intertwined. This complementarity will be examined. The chapter concludes with an examination of the value of theory and research.

Chapter 2 examines frames of reference and problem formulation. When investigators begin their research, they usually start with an idea about what they want to study and how they want to study it. Those who study juvenile delinquency, for instance, will approach this topic using one of several alternative explanations--perhaps the idea that delinquency is largely the result of family instability, or that delinquency is largely the result of the significant influence of one's delinquent peers, or that delinquency is largely the result of cultural deprivation. These are ways of looking at and accounting for any phenomenon we wish to study. These ways of looking at criminological phenomena are also frames of reference or simply our particular ways of viewing problems we wish to explain.

Closely associated with frames of reference are variables used by investigators to explain different phenomena. Variables are any quantity that can assume more than one value. Gender, race, age, year in school, political affiliation, socioeconomic status, and rural. or urban background are just a few of the many variables that can be used by researchers in developing their theoretical schemes and planning their research. Depending upon the nature of the research conducted, each variable operates in unique ways in relation to other variables. Some variables influence other variables to change in value, while other variables are influenced to change. Different uses of variables will be examined. Variables may also be distinguished according to whether they are discrete or continuous. Discrete variables have a limited number of subdivisions. For most purposes, gender is a discrete variable, because it only has two subclasses: male and female. The same is true about political affiliation. However, other variables, such as prejudice, job satisfaction, burnout, and professionalism, may have an infinite number of subclasses. In these instances, such variables are labeled as continuous, since they may be divided and graded into infinite subdivisions. But for all practical purposes, criminologists and other social scientists reduce all variables examined to a series of discrete subclasses, regardless of the particular variable's discrete or continuous qualities. Thus, different types of variables and their functions will be presented and explained, and their relation to frames of reference and problem formulation will be examined. The chapter concludes with a discussion of causal relations between variables. Most social scientists seek to identify what factors cause certain variables to change in value. What variables cause some juveniles to become delinquent? What variables cause police misconduct. improvements in professionalism, or labor turnover among correctional officers? Causation is difficult to establish. Causal relations between variables will be explored in some detail.

Chapter 3 discusses different types of research designs as well as the various kinds of objectives sought by investigators. Research designs refer to different ways of structuring one's research so as to achieve particular outcomes. Two useful categories of research designs are case studies and surveys. Some important advantages and disadvantages of case studies and surveys will be presented. All research designs are influenced by our research goals or objectives. These goals are usually exploratory, descriptive, or experimental. The most complicated types of research designs are experimental, and there are several different kinds of experimental designs that will be presented, discussed, and compared.

Experimental research designs often involve two or more groups of persons and comparisons between them on different variables. Whenever two or more groups of persons are compared for whatever reason, it is important to establish their equivalence to justify any subsequent differences they may exhibit. Several important methods for establishing equivalence between two or more groups will be presented and discussed. These include individual matching, persons used as their own controls in before-after experiments, group or frequency distribution control matching, and random assignment. Other experimental designs will be examined, including classical experimental design, quasi-experimental designs, time-series designs, and cost-benefit analyses.

Chapter 4 is a detailed examination of the sampling process. When populations of persons axe investigated, it is extraordinary that all persons in these populations are studied. Most researchers investigate only a portion or sample of persons taken from the entire population, of them. A discussion of the decision to sample will be provided. There are several types of sampling plans, therefore, including probability and nonprobability sampling plans. These will be distinguished. Several important criteria for identifying probability sampling plans, including randomness, will be described. The functions of sampling will also be presented.

The next part of Chapter 4 examines various probability and nonprobability sampling plans in some detail, featuring examples as well as the advantages, disadvantages, and applications of these plans for criminological research. Different sampling scenarios are also distinguished, such as when single samples of persons are studied, or whether two or more samples of persons are investigated. The independence or relatedness of different samples will also be discussed. The chapter concludes with a discussion of several important sampling considerations and issues.

Chapter 5 is the first of three chapters that examine different ways that information about people can be gathered. Each research plan includes provisions for collecting data or information about the problem studied. The substance of Chapter 5 is questionnaire construction and administration. Much of the tame, information about people is gathered by criminologist' through the administration of questionnaires. Questionnaires contain much information that may be quantified and used to verify one's theories and frames of reference. Questionnaires always contain information useful in the conceptualization of variables used to explain different social phenomena.

But not all questionnaires are alike. Different questionnaire formats are described, as well as their weaknesses and strengths for particular research applications. Questionnaires may be administered under a variety of different conditions- Questionnaires can be mailed, administered to persons face-to-face, or given to persons in groups. Questionnaires also vary in. their construction. Some questionnaires are simple and short, while others are long and complex. Some items in questionnaires have fixed-response answers, while other items have an open-ended format. These different formats are described, and their weaknesses and strengths for different groups of persons are discussed. Several important issues about the use questionnaires will be examined. Some of these issues include nonresponse and what to do about it. Not everyone returns their questionnaire. Not everyone receives questionnaires mailed to them. When persons do receive and complete questionnaires, we have no way of knowing whether they gave truthful or false information. Sometimes persons lie about how they feel, and this deception influences the credibility of questionnaire information. All of these issues and others will be examined in some detail.

Chapter 6 examines interviewing as a data-gathering technique. Like questionnaires, interviews may be administered different ways. Interviews may be conducted face-to-face, or they may be conducted over the telephone with different persons who are investigative targets. Usually interviews are more or less structured like questionnaires, in that previously prepared questions or items are formulated and particular lands of information are solicited from selected persons. Interviewing is believed by some social scientists to be a skill that is learned over time and with experience. This chapter examines the qualities of interviewers, and some of the weaknesses and strengths of interviewing will be examined. Comparisons of interview information with information yielded from questionnaires will be made and evaluated. The chapter concludes with an examination of several important issues associated with the interviewing process.

Chapter 7 discusses observation as a data-gathering technique. Observation is defined, and different types of observation are described. Persons who observe others for the purpose of gathering information about them may be participants or nonparticipants. This means that they may or may not be members of the groups about which they seek information. Also, if persons know they are being observed, they may behave differently so that their true feelings or attitudes cannot be interpreted correctly. Therefore, the impact of the observer on the observed will be discussed. Br the same token, behaviors of persons being observed can influence the behaviors and attitudes of those who observe. Both of these potentially problematic situations will be discussed.

This chapter also examines the use of secondary sources, such as public records, as a means of gathering information. Archival reports, examinations of biographies, autobiographies, organizational documents, and court records arc considered secondary sources. Because most secondary source information was collected for purposes different from those of the researcher, some of the weaknesses and strengths of using secondary sources will be described. Secondary sources may also be examined for their content. Content analyses of secondary sources will be described. Some government and private agencies have compiled data bases and records for general research applications. These data may be easily accessed and analyzed, although there are certain considerations which should be made for analyzing these data sets. Finally, some studies seek to examine numerous investigations of a single topic as an aggregate through meta-analysis. Meta-analysis will be described and explained.

Chapters 8 and 9 focus upon the measurement of social and psychological variables in criminological research. Because much criminological research involves contacting others and soliciting information concerning their ideas and attitudes about things, attention is also given to the measures we use to quantify the information collected. In Chapter 8, the measurement of variables is closely examined as well as some general functions of measurement for social research. Attention is directed toward variables and how they are conceptualized numerically. Variables may be measured according to different levels of measurement, including the nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio levels. Several popular scaling procedures, including Likert and Thurstone scaling, are examined and described in detail. These types of scales are geared toward attitude measurement. Their weaknesses, strengths, and general research applications are presented. Other types of scales arc also presented, including the semantic differential. Guttman scaling, the Salient Factor Score Index, and Greenwood's Rand Seven-Factor Index. Several issues relating to measurement are presented to conclude this chapter.

Chapter 9 examines whether the scales we devise actually measure what they purport to measure end whether these scales have consistency in their application? Do our measures of things have validity; that is, do these measures actually measure what we say they measure? Are these measures reliable? Can we depend upon them to give us consistent results over time? Validity and reliability are two critical scale properties and are given extensive treatment in this chapter. Several types of validity are described and explained. Accordingly, there are several types of reliability. These different types are also described. Because of the fact that we often measure attitudinal phenomena, there are numerous factors that may interfere with a scale's reliability and validity. These factors are presented and discussed in detail.

Chapter 10 is an examination of the coding process and the conversion of information we have obtained from questionnaires, interviews, and/or observation into numerical quantities for scientific purposes. Whatever we measure, whether it be crime rates or police professionalism, this information must be coded in some way. Coding is an integral feature of the scientific process and enables researchers to share their research with others in more meaningful ways. Also presented in this chapter are various methods for portraying or illustrating the information investigators have collected. Different types of graphs, charts, and/or tables are presented. Examples from current criminological literature are provided to show how data may be cross-tabulated and meaningfully interpreted. All of this data presentation is central to verifying the theories we have chosen to use and which guide our research enterprise. The decision malting process is discussed to illustrate the criteria we use to choose which forms of data presentation are best for our particular research.

Chapter 11 focuses upon hypothesis formulation. Hypotheses are statements, usually derived from theory and consisting of one or more variables, which can be empirically tested. These statements are often depictions of different parts of one's theory in testable form. Several types of hypotheses are described, including research, null, and statistical hypotheses. In each case, ample illustrations are provided to show how these hypotheses are constructed and tested. Some hypotheses are relatively simple and are easily tested, while others are more complex. Hypotheses may contain one or more variables, and thus our research must be fashioned in ways that make it possible to conduct scientific tests of these hypotheses to verify the particular theory we use. Hypothesis testing is not a cut-and-dried process. Some investigators consider hypothesis testing to be an art form. Several important considerations must be made whenever interpreting the results of hypothesis tests. These considerations have to do with our theory, the sampling procedure we have used, the measures we have used, the data-collection methods we have employed, and the validity and reliability of our measures.

Chapter 12 examines several critical ethical issues that arise whenever social research is conducted. Virtually every professional organization, including the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, has established codes of ethics to guide their respective memberships in conducting ethical research. Invariably different ethical problems will arise and over which investigators may have little or no control. Some of these ethical problems will be described and discussed. Several ethical issues will be presented, as well as several solutions and proposals for minimizing unethical practices in social research.

Finally, an appendix has been provided to assist students in their individual research projects and assignments. Appendix A paper writing and offers considerable assistance in where to look for various types of information. Suggestions are given for different types of paper formats, including master's thesis and doctoral dissertation organization and preparation. A useful feature is a discussion of legal references and citation methods for those who seek information from legal publications.

Using This Book Most Effectively

Perhaps the best way to approach the material in this book is as a collection of strategies for problem-solving. Each strategy that might be employed in the investigation of particular criminal justice-related or criminological problems has weaknesses and strengths, limitations and benefits. These features must be weighed carefully as they are considered for application in problem-solutions. The problems are research questions, questions about criminological and criminal justice-related phenomena about which we seek information and answers.

Because the research process is multidimensional and involves numerous phases or stages, each exhibiting technical and sometimes complicated procedures, it might be helpful to regard this collection of strategies from the standpoint of building blocks. Thinking of a pyramid, base blocks form the foundation, and blocks on higher levels can only be supported by the foundation we have provided. Thus, our knowledge of research methods proceeds accordingly, as we master knowledge of basics and proceed to more technical strategies in later chapters- And, like the pyramid which, once in place, is a beautiful, complete assemblage of blocks, the research process unfolds similarly to yield a distinctive whole that can best be appreciated when viewed as an interconnected constellation of numerous components.

The general intention is to improve our understanding of the events that occur around us. Perhaps our investigations will lead to certain practical policy decisions. However, our investigations may be unrelated to public policy or to anything of practical value other than a simple understanding and appreciation for why certain events occur. My position is that we should seek a healthy balance between our practical, substantive concerns and our theoretical ones. While some research may have direct relevance for a particular intervention program to be used for parolees in halfway houses to assist in their community reintegration, other research may not be adapted easily to any helping program. This state of affairs is perhaps as it should be, especially in view of the great diversity of interests among criminologists and criminal justice professionals, the problems they select for study, and the ways they choose to investigate these problems.

Special Features and Ancillaries

The book has several special features. These are as follows:

  • All technical expressions involved in sampling, scaling, and attitudinal measurement have been simplified, with careful, step-by-step instructions about how to complete one's calculations.
  • All methodological procedures are fully explained and their interpretation is simplified with examples from the criminological literature.
  • Current illustrations have been extracted from the literature of criminology and criminal justice. Topics for illustrations were deliberately chosen because of their variety and because of their topical importance in view of their frequency of treatment in the professional literature. All methodological procedures covered in this book were found among these articles, and the ideas from these articles were the basis for most examples provided.
  • Questions are provided at chapter ends for review, together with a list of key terms. All of the terms listed under key terms are also included with definitions in a comprehensive glossary in an appendix.
  • An appendix describes how to write papers and scientific essays. Students will learn how to structure their term paper projects, and master's and doctoral students will glean an idea of how to construct theses and dissertations, which involve a variety of research questions.
  • Instructional aides include an instructor's manual and a computerized test bank of 1,000 questions and are available for examination preparation. Versions of the computerized test bank are available on computer diskette and hard copy.
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