Methods of Criminal Justice Research

Kara interviews five drug users and discovers that four regularly carry weapons. Based on this information, she argues that drug users are more likely to carry weapons than others. This is an example of:

Examining the effect of a drug court program on offenders’ drug use is an example of:
Evaluation Research

Research shows that most criminals are poor. Many people think, therefore, that most poor people are criminals. This is an example of:
Illogical Reasoning

In order to study the effect of television on an audience, a student watches old TV shows and compares them to new ones. This is an example of:
Content analysis

Which of the following best describes an example of descriptive research about youth gang members?
A study examining who gang members are and what their activities are

Exploratory research is generally concerned with:
Uncovering detailed information about a given phenomenon

A criminal justice student and volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters is about to conduct a study of at-risk youth. She is most likely working from:
Academic and personal motivations

A researcher uses three different research methods to study a research question. This is an example of:

Using census data to study aspects of the American population is an example of ____________.
Secondary data analysis

_____________ exists when a measure actually measures what we think it does.
Measurement validity

The four major stages in the research circle are:
Theory, hypothesis, data, and empirical generalization

The primary source of research questions is:

For the hypothesis “if gun control laws are stricter, crime will decrease,” ____________ is the independent variable and _____________ is the dependent variable.
Strength of gun control laws, criminal activity level

According to deterrence theory, punishment for a deviant act reduces the likelihood that a person will repeat the act. A researcher decides that it must therefore be likely that tougher gun control laws would reduce gun crimes. This is an example of:
Deductive reasoning

An independent variable is to a dependent variable as a:
Cause is to an effect

An observer of street corner groups finds that more acts of vandalism are committed by same-sex groups than by mixed-sex groups. She speculates that the propensity to commit publicly deviant acts is a product of competition for recognition among peers of equal status. This speculation is an example of:
Inductive reasoning

What is the independent variable in the following research question, “If inmates are visited more frequently will they be more likely to follow prison rules regardless of their gender, age, or ethnicity?”
Frequency of Visitation

Scientific relevance means that research should be:
Grounded in existing empirical literature

One of the most important requirements of theory is that it is:

A researcher investigates the association between urban gangs and violence. He then constructs a theory stating that violent behavior is a function of deviant subcultures. His research project is an example of:
Inductive research

Which of the following is not one of the ethical elements established in the “Belmont Report”?

The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects was created based on the principles established by the:
The “Belmont Report”

Commitment to what is deemed the “necessary starting point” for all research that is ethical?

Deception in research is sometimes necessary in order to:
***Simulating real world stresses and dilemmas is difficult in a laboratory setting
***Avoid subjects changing behavior because they are aware they are being studied
***Determine how subjects react if they were not research subjects


In order to ensure openness and honesty in research all but which of the following should be, if not published, at least open to public scrutiny?
***Analytical methods
***Data collection methods
***Raw data

All of the above should be available

Researchers must set aside all personal biases and prejudices if research is to be approached:

Which of the following is not a requirement of obtaining informed consent?
Subjects must be informed without the use of deceit

Most universities require researchers to have all research involving human subjects authorized by the:
Institutional review board

Which of the following classifications of subjects cannot legally give consent on their own?

Of the following violations to general ethical rules, which is the most common and most acceptable, if properly addressed?
Deception of the subjects

Operationalization is the process of:
Specifying the operations that will be used to indicate the value of a variable

Reliability exists when measurements are consistent.

If an instrument is valid and reliable in one setting, then it will be reliable and valid in all settings.

Good conceptualization and operationalization can prevent confusion in the research process.

An ordinal level measure can accommodate the same mathematical functions as a ratio level measure.

Open-ended questions are preferable when the range of responses cannot be anticipated

An observer examines the behavior of high school dropouts on several occasions to measure the frequency of their alcohol use. Later, it turns out that the observer’s ratings have minimal association with each other. This indicates a problem with:
Intraobserver reliability

A measure will have interitem reliability if:
Multiple items are used to measure a single concept

Before their release, prison inmates are asked to fill out a risk assessment questionnaire which assesses the likelihood that an inmate will re-offend. A researcher later corroborates the risk assessments with official arrest statistics. This is an example of:
Criterion validation

The criterion validity of a measure is established when:
A more direct measure of the same phenomenon provides the same answer

Imagine researchers are interested in examining the influence of fathers’ criminal behavior on that of their children. A study is conducted in which families are selected, and then children in those families are asked to provide information on their family’s criminal behavior. In this study:
Families are the primary sampling units and children are the secondary sampling units

In criminological research, disproportionate stratified sampling:
Could be used to provide equal numbers of male and female offenders

Which of the following terms could not be used to describe a random sample?

Which of the following is a non-probability sampling method?
Quota sampling

In order to obtain a sample, a researcher picks five individuals, asks each of them to recruit five more subjects, asks them to recruit five more, and so on. This is an example of:
Snowball sampling

Sampling error is greater in a multistage cluster sample than in a simple random sample.

Quota sampling is similar to stratified probability sampling.

External validity is another term for cross-population generalizability

The utility of disproportionate stratified random sampling increases as the heterogeneity of the population increases.

A sample will have high cross-population generalizability if random sampling error is low.

In order to establish causality, a relationship must be:

Data that is collected from observations taken in more than one point in time are called:

An experimental study has found that alcoholics who attend peer group meetings are more successful in reducing their consumption of alcoholic beverages than alcoholics who do not attend such meetings. In the conclusions to their report on this experiment, the researchers suggest that it will be important for future studies to determine whether the support group effect was due to the social support itself, the sharing of technical information, or the time taken up by the meetings. This suggestion reflects a concern with:
Causal mechanisms

The strongest nonexperimental design for establishing the time order of effects is the:
Fixed-sample panel design

Which of the following is true about control and experimental groups?
Subjects must be randomly sorted into the two groups

Random assignment, like random sampling, seeks to ensure that the research subjects are representative of the larger population.

Mechanism and context are necessary conditions for determining causality.

There are no experimental groups that can accommodate studies examining events that have already occurred.

A fixed-sample panel design is better than a repeated cross-sectional design for testing causal hypotheses.

Association is a necessary criterion for establishing a causal effect.

Survey research involves:
The systematic collection of data from individuals and social settings

The popularity of survey research is due to the:
Versatility, efficiency, and generalizability of results

About ____________ of the public will provide an opinion on a proposed law that they know nothing about in response to a closed-ended question that does not include “don’t know” as an explicit option.

Dr. Lee is hired as a consultant to design a survey to measure attitudes towards the death penalty. She must develop in the fastest possible time a description of support for the death penalty that can be generalized to the general population. Which survey method should she use?
Phone survey

Open-ended survey questions:
Allow any possible response

What is the problem with the following survey question? “Using the responses provided, indicate your opinion on the new university policies regarding smoking and drinking on campus.”
This is a double-barrelled question

A pretest for a questionnaire is not as important as the posttest.

Likert-type responses measure how often a respondent does or experiences something.

A reference period will increase the reliability of a question.

Mixed-mode surveys allow the strengths of one survey design to compensate for the weaknesses of another.

The field research process lacks which of the following features?
Testing hypotheses systematically

Ramon introduces himself at the regular monthly meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police as a researcher who wishes to learn about how the organization is structured. He is granted permission to attend meetings and interview members whenever mutually agreeable arrangements can be made. He becomes a regular figure at meetings, sitting in a back row and taking notes. His role as a field researcher is that of:
Complete Observer

John is a field researcher who studies social interaction within motorcycle groups. He is not an accomplished rider himself, but he is able to obtain jobs at various motorcycle shops that allow him to observe members of motorcycle groups and to socialize with them after work. He lets members think that he is a regular employee and does not mention his research role to anyone connected with the groups. His note-taking is done after hours in his own apartment. His role as a field research is that of a:
Complete Participant

Which of the following guidelines did Whyte recommend for maintaining relations in the field?
Don’t fake social similarity with subjects

Intensive interviewing seeks in-depth information using _____________ questions.
Open-ended, relatively unstructured

Focus groups are best described by which of the following features?
Nonrepresentative sample, homogeneous participants, qualitative data

Focus groups are useful for:
Exploring the meanings people attach to their experiences

Which type of sampling can be used in field research?
All of the above

A study of a culture or cultures that a group of people share is known as a/an:

Which of the following best describes a researcher who is a covert observer in a field study?
A researcher who takes a job within a corrupt police department without anyone’s knowledg

Which of the following is not used in secondary data analysis?
Surveys conducted by the investigator

A research method for systematically analyzing and making inferences from text is called:
Content Analysis

Illuminating the relationship between some category of crime and corresponding characteristics such as poverty and disorganization across given locations is the purpose of:
Crime mapping

The units that are surveyed in ________ can range from newspapers, books, or TV shows to persons referred to in other communications.
Content analysis

When description of a large population is a key concern, the preferred research strategy is to use:

What is the greatest problem with experimental designs?
Low external validity

To maximize generalizability, a researcher should focus primarily on:

Research that seeks to understand the nature or scope of a nation’s criminal justice system is called:
Descriptive comparative research

A group of research methods students are assigned a content analysis of media reports on terrorism. Which of the following represents a mistake that may cause difficulties with their analysis?
Each group member uses his own coding method

Which of the following is a disadvantage of laboratory experimental designs?
People must volunteer for experiments, thereby reducing generalizability

The four general types of evaluation research include all of the following except:

A juvenile court is assessing the impact of a diversion program. This diversion program curtails the use of secure confinement and increases the use of informal sanctions for minor delinquents. The evaluation shows that keeping minor delinquents out of secure confinements would not significantly increase the crime rate. The crime rate would remain stable because there are very few juveniles who would be eligible to participate in the diversion program. A citizen who is concerned about wasting financial resources argues that before conducting an evaluation of impact, the researcher should have conducted an evaluation of:

A local community hires a team of researchers to implement and evaluate a drug prevention program. After determining the needs of the community, the researchers suggest four successful drug prevention programs. The community selects one to implement. In their evaluations, the researchers critique the community for only selecting one drug prevention program rather than all four. The researchers further demonstrate that rates of drug use will only be affected if the community makes a more concerted effort in preventing use. The researcher’s final conclusion is that the community’s efforts to reduce drug use were not successful. These researchers conducted an evaluation of:

Many prevention programs are denoted as failures before they ever have a chance to demonstrate their effectiveness. This occurs, in part, because it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to implement prevention programs. A researcher performs a meta-analysis of evaluations of prevention program. Her main finding is that prevention programs are not effective. She finds however, that they are not effective because they were evaluated too early, when they were not yet fully developed. Her key finding is that successful prevention will only occur after successful implementation. Her research was an evaluation of:

A politician is interested in implementing a statewide welfare reform program. By providing welfare recipients with extensive job training, she believes that the number of welfare recipients will decrease. As a side benefit, she also believes that the crime rate would drop. In response, a researcher argues that the crime rate would indeed drop, however the cost of this drop would be too high. Other cheaper alternatives could be utilized to reduce the level of crime. This researcher’s work is an evaluation of:

The strongest research design for assessing the impacts and outcomes of programs and other interventions is the:
True Experimental Design

Cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses:
Are examples of the evaluation of efficiency

Since evaluation research has such a large impact on policy and programs, it is often referred to as:
Applied Research

A researcher from Prison Rehabilitation Services, Inc. travels around the country visiting privately operated prison facilities to ensure that their program is being operated according to his company’s policy. He is conducting:
Process Evaluation

A small town police chief is interested in if his D.A.R.E. program is having an impact on his community, but is not sure that the program is suitable for evaluation. He needs what kind of study conducted?
Evaluability assessment

A scientist reports on the support for a new detention center. She says that 53% of people surveyed support a new detention center. The margin of error for her estimate is plus or minus 4 percentage points. The numbers 53% and +/- 4% are:
Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics, respectively

The “Base N” in a frequency distribution refers to:
The total number of cases corresponding to 100% in the table

Which statement about the relation between the mode, median, and mean is generally correct?
There is no relation between their values

Seven detention centers are surveyed. The current number of inmates in each detention center is 25, 23, 22, 17, 5, 42, and 105. What is the median number of inmates?

You enter a prison that has many inmates of varying ages. You must interview one inmate for a research project. This inmate should be just in the middle of the age distribution of inmates – that is, an inmate who is younger than half the other inmates and older than the other half. Which statistic should you use?

A researcher assesses the need for substance abuse treatment in two prisons. She finds that in both prisons, the average number of substance abuse problems is similar. In addition, the variability is similar in both prisons. She concludes that the distribution of substance abuse problems in both prisons is the same. If the reported statistics are correct, how would you evaluate her conclusion?
It may be incorrect due to skewness

The standard deviation is the:
Square root of the average squared deviation of each case from the mean

The following questions refer to this set of numbers: 2, 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 14, 18, 21, 33.
Calculate the mean.

The following questions refer to this set of numbers: 2, 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 14, 18, 21, 33.
Calculate the median.

The following questions refer to this set of numbers: 2, 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 14, 18, 21, 33.
Calculate the mode.

Research projects often fail because:
The research report is not well organized or clearly written

Bellah’s model of “social science as public philosophy” is reflected in which of the following statements? Social scientists should:
Focus explicit attention on achieving a more just society

The most unique aspect of preparation of an academic journal article is the:
Peer review process

Which of the following is good advice for writing research reports?
Revise several times if at all possible

A discussion section:
Summarizes the evidence with respect to the theoretical framework of the study

Which section of a journal article will describe in detail how the study was conducted?

Which section of a journal article will present the specific problem under study and describe the research strategy?

Which section of a journal article will concisely describe the research problem, the sample, the method, and the findings?

A researcher conducts a study on terrorist movements within the United States. Upon completing his research he petitions to Congress to present his information before them. This researcher’s primary goal most likely is to:
Shape social policy

A researcher conducts a theoretical study of terrorist motivations, consulting the work of other major researchers in the field. The research is published in two separate academic journals. This researcher’s primary goal most likely is to:
Advance scientific knowledge

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