The Practice of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice

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ESPEM
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Equal probability of selection method; not specific; everyone in sampling frame has equal chance of being in final sample
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SRS
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Simple Random Sample; selected via random process EX Flipping coin/throwing dice
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Systematic Sampling
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Every kth item is selected; initial element selected at random
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Stratified Proportionate
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Methods in which elements are selected from strata in exact proportion to representation of population
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Stratified Disproportionate
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Sampling of strata in different proportions from those that appear in the population
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Sampling Frame
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\”universe\” complete list of sampling frame EX all social workers in NYS must call ALL SW in NYS
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Sampling Parameter
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Estimation of parameters based upon observations; summary of given variables in a population
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Sampling Error
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Degree of error in sampling statistics; differences in characteristics of sample and those in the population
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Census
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Info is obtained through responses that all available members of an entire population give in response to questions
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Confidence Intervals
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Accuracy of sampling statistics in terms of level of CI that are captured in the parameter
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Non-Probability Samples (4)
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Convenience/Availability; purposive; snowball; quota sampling
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Probability Sampling
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All persons have a chance of being selected; can generalize; rely on chance selection; elements are known
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Non-Probability Sampling
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Not random; no generalization; more convenient and less costly; elements are unknown
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Methods
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Experimental approach (true experiment); quasi experiments; surveys; participant observation; secondary data; historical events; content analysis
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Experimental Approach/True Experiment (3 Reqt’s)
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Two groups (one treated and placebo); Random assignment; Assessment of change in outcome variable
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Quasi-Experiment
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Lack of one of the reqt’s req’d for \”true experiment\”
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Surveys/Questionaires
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Fixed format/most versatile; self administered; survey questions misleading (screen carefully); perceptions and experiments vary
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Participant Observation
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Development is intense; subject matter can be boring; prefer more in depth questions
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Secondary Data
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Re-analyze already existing data; replication prevents dishonesty; surveys sponsored by gov’t; publicized in ICPSR; politically and socially motivated research
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Historical Events Research
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Social events of only one time period in past are studied EX Documents, transcripts, and newspapers
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Content Analysis
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Qualitative and Quantitative; systematically analyzed, study representations and research topics
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Constructs
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Established by showing that a measure is related to other measures specified in theory
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Conceptualization
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Beyond a definition; deductive ->translates portions of an abstract theory into testable hypothes; inductive-> makes sense of related observations
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Operationalization
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Process of specifying the operations that will indicate the value of a variable for the case
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Independent Variable
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Hypothesized to cause or lead to change in another variable
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Dependent Variable
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Hypothesized to change or vary depending on variation in another variable
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Qualitative
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No numbers; written/spoken based on response of participants; interpretations of events; participant observation; focus groups designed to capture events as they are experienced
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Quantitative
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Numbers; counts events; uses stat techniques
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Theory
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Interrelated set of propositions about empirical reality
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Research Circle
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Theory -> Hypothesis -> Data-> Empirical Generalization-> Theory
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Concepts
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Mental image that summarizes a set of similiar observations, feelings, or ideas
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Research Hypothesis
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Tentative statement about empirical reality involving relationships between variables and if relationship is positive or negative
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Criminological Research (4 types)
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Description, exploration, explanation, and evaluation
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Description
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Type of Crim. Research; research that describes and defines phenomena; msmt and sampling are central concerns
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Exploration
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Type of Crim. Research; Answer to \”waht is going on here?\”; issues of concern; actions/relationships of people; capture large amounts of instrumental information; use of qualitative methods
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Explanation
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Type of Crim. Reseach; seeks to identify causes and/or effects of social phenomena
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Evaluation
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Type of Crim. Research; research about social programs or interventions
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Unobtrusive Measures
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Researchers collect data about individuals or groups without their knowledge or participation
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Overgeneralization
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Base beliefs on limited observation; believe it applies to everyone
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Research Hypothesis
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Tentative statement about empirical reality involving relationship between two or more variables
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Peer Review
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Submitted article to two or three who judge whether paper should be accepted, revised, or rejected; offer feedback to explain decisions and suggestions
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Refereed Journals
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Journals that selected research paper for publications are based on peer reviews of other social scientists
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Phrenology
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Defunct pseudoscience; bumps and fissures are measured to character and likelihood of recidivism
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Generalizability (cross-population)
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Conclusion holds true for population, group(s) that we state it does and given conditions we specifiy
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Deductive Reasoning
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General to specific
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Inductive Reasoning
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Specific to General
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NIJ’s Privacy Certificate
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Issues by DOJ; working with high risk populations (criminals, addicts, promiscuous, and genetic); protects against researchers from being legally req’d to disclose confidential information
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Implied Consent
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Mere participation is the consent
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Informed Consent
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Voluntary; fulling informed, competent, and comprehend; agree to terms and conditions
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Confidentiality
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Sealed records; particpants are numbers; no repercussions
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IRB/Human Subjects Review Board
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Reviews research proposals to ensure protection of human subjects; ethical standards are applied; all institutions that seek federal funding for biomedical or behavioral research must comply
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Open-Ended Questions
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Qualitative in nature; respondent replies in his/her own words (written or verbal) and reseracher interprets response
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Closed Questions
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Fixed Choice; preformulated responses to circle or check
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Belmont Report (3 Ethical Principles)
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Respect for persons (diminished autonomy); Benefience (minimie harm/max benefits); Justice
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Zimbardo’s SPE
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Stanford Prison Experiment; concerned with valid results; deemed unethical because participants suffered and no advance disclosure
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Milgrim’s Study
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Concerned primarily with ethical issues and protection of research participants and informed consent
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Humphrey’s \”Tea Room Trade\” Study
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\”Covert participation\” (researcher does not disclose their identity); involved homosexual acts among men in public restrooms and deception
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Debriefing
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Explanations to subjects the purpose of experiment and methods while evaluating subjects’ personal reactions to experiment EX Milgrim’s Experiment
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Importance and Function of Lit Reviews
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Inverted triangle (casting problem within larger literature); study how others before you studied problem and what methods they used as well as measuring their success
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Four Levels of Measurment
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Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, and Ratio
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Nominal
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Qualitative in nature; vary in quality but not amount; no mathematical interpretation EX Gender, Nationality, occupation
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Ordinal
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Quantitative; in order of \”greater than\” or \”less than\”, no real way to tell one level from next EX Level of Confict
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Interval
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Quantitative; have no absolute zero or fixed point; fixed measurements but no meaningful ratios EX Temperature
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Ratio
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Quantitative; fixed measurement with an absolute zero point; can be multiplied and divided, EX Group Size
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Dichotomous Variable
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Variable has only two values; inherent order to these values EX Those who have used drugs and those who have not
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Internal Validity (Causal Validity)
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Changes of dependent variable are the result of the influence of the independent variable rather than of the way the research was designed
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External Validity (Cross-Population Generalizability)
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Exists when findings about on group, population, or setting hold true for other groups, populations, or settings; can conclusions be drawn from sample pertain to other cases?
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Face Validity
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Simplest method; relies on subjective judgement of researcher; \”does the measuring instrument appear to be measuring what I am attempting to measure?\”
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Construct Validity
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Most theoretical; fit between theoretical and operational definitions of terms
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Content Validity
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Measures the content being studied; examine each element to measure the concept in question EX Everyone misses same question on exam
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Predictive Validity
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Accurately forecast future events or conditions EX Performance on midterm has effect of final grade?
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Triangulation
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Use of multiple methods to study one research question
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Test-Retest Reliability
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Instrument administered twice to same population and results are compared
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Multiple-Forms
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Alternate forms of instrument to same group; disguised as a test-retest in hopes subjects do not realize they are being retested
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Split-Half Technique
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Does not involve pre-testing; same score on even and odd numbered scales=reliable,

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